PDA

View Full Version : I ain't gonna get no publishing! Bad grammar and the business



TsukiRyoko
02-04-2007, 05:23 PM
Say a writer, with em... "undesirable" grammar were to submit their MS to a publisher (small press or large press, you're choice). If the story was absolutely stellar, could their grammar be overlooked? I know that there are plenty of people and resources available to the public, and there should really be no reason for a writer to submit his/her work if it's in bad shape, but isn't it also supposedly the editor's job to filter this stuff out?

What do you say- does a brilliant story have the potential to be published, despite horrible grammar?

alleycat
02-04-2007, 05:35 PM
The trouble is . . . no one will knows it's a "brilliant story". After just a few pages of horrible grammar, I suspect whoever is reading it would just toss it. I know I would.

piscesgirl80
02-04-2007, 05:42 PM
there should really be no reason for a writer to submit his/her work if it's in bad shape, but isn't it also supposedly the editor's job to filter this stuff out?


I think you answered your own question. Yes, the editor will filter it out, by rejecting it.

I think the reasoning goes, that if the writer doesn't take the time to send the best possible version of their work, why should the editor take the time to read it?

scarletpeaches
02-04-2007, 05:49 PM
Someone who can't take command of a language has no business trying to write in it.

PattiTheWicked
02-04-2007, 06:05 PM
I think there's a common misconception that "it's okay if there's mistakes, the editor will take care of it." My impression of editors is that while they're happy to edit for story and content, no one wants to sit there with a red pen proofreading a 120,000 word manuscript.

And honestly, if the query letter and sample chapters evidence poor grammar, then that hardly bodes well for the rest of the work. I can't imagine why they'd even ask for a full at that point.

The only exception I can see would be if it were deliberate, as part of the narrator's voice. In Alice Walker's The Color Purple, the story is told from the perspective of a poor black woman with little education, and the voice reflects that.

If it's just an author who hasn't bothered to check their work, I expect that's an editorial nightmare.

KCathy
02-04-2007, 06:29 PM
There are situations in which grammar isn't as important as getting the message across (instant messaging, writing a quick love note to stuff into a preschooler's lunch box, scribbling down a recipe during a talk show, etc.), but when trying to look professional, the details are everything. You might not be too picky about a smear of green paint on the outside of a treehouse you're painting blue on the outside and green on the inside, but if you're a master painter thinking about hiring an apprentice, you won't do it if the apprentice keeps making "little" mistakes like that. If he tells you that you should go behind him with turpentine because, after all, you're the expert in charge, you might leave a shoe-shaped paint mark on his tookus when explaining why you won't hire him.

Sohia Rose
02-04-2007, 06:44 PM
I use words like "gonna" and " 'cause" and words where I would drop a "g" like "thinkin' " in dialogue. I've even sold a few short narrative essays (I only write non-fiction) this way. Outside of that, I use more of "proper English." My work is mostly conversational in tone.

benbradley
02-04-2007, 06:53 PM
What do you say- does a brilliant story have the potential to be published, despite horrible grammar?

If the story is that great, it seems the writer could hire a "reader" (maybe an English major college student) to go through it and correct it. Also, query letters and such would need to go through the "reader." I'm thinking this "reader" might need to be listed as co-author.

Good grammar can be learned, though it may take months or years (and isn't it a good idea to FIX the problem?). There's surely a bunch of free resources on the net, probably related to home schooling. My immediate suggestion is to subscribe to the word of the day at m-w.com and the SAT question of the day at collegeboard.com.

johnzakour
02-04-2007, 07:12 PM
The manuscript doesn't have to be grammatically flawless, God knows none of mine ever are, but it still has to read smooth.

Ist hrad ot ese birllaicne fi het wrdos rea lal jmbueld.

(It's hard to see brilliance if the words are all jumbled.)

Jamesaritchie
02-04-2007, 07:30 PM
Say a writer, with em... "undesirable" grammar were to submit their MS to a publisher (small press or large press, you're choice). If the story was absolutely stellar, could their grammar be overlooked? I know that there are plenty of people and resources available to the public, and there should really be no reason for a writer to submit his/her work if it's in bad shape, but isn't it also supposedly the editor's job to filter this stuff out?

What do you say- does a brilliant story have the potential to be published, despite horrible grammar?

It depends on how bad the grammar really is. We all make mistakes. But it's darned near impossible to write a stellar story using poor grammar, UNLESS the poor grammar is intentional, and is used in just the right way, at just the right time, and for just the right reason. Thinking you can write a stellar story without good language skills probably won't take you very far.

An editor's job is not to filter out bad grammar. An editor's job is to find good writers, and good grammar is part of good writing.

But as an editor, I can tell you two things that may seem contradictory. 1. I've never read a stellar story written by a writer who was lousy at grammar. You just can't have one without the other. 2. I've read some extremely good stories by writers who didn't know they were good at grammar, who didn't know a verb from an herb, and who had not a clue what a past participle might be, etc., but they still did almost everything right because they were great readers.

It does help to know the technicalities of grammar, what all the terms mean, but as long as you're getting most of it right, it doesn't really matter how you do it.

The two areas I think a writer must know are active/passive, and tense.

At the same time, grammar is not rocket science, and pretty much anyone can learn all the grammar they need, including all the terms, in a month or two. I don't know why so many wannabe writers are unwilling to sit down and learn grammar, the basic tool of writing. It's work, I guess, and it certainly isn't as much fun as actually writing fiction, but trying to be a writer without understanding how to use this basic tool is like trying to be a carpenter without first learning how to use a hammer and saw.

You need the basics, and all it takes to learn the basics is a book or two and some dedicated time.

TsukiRyoko
02-04-2007, 07:32 PM
Someone who can't take command of a language has no business trying to write in it.
But remember, mastering the language is not the only key point to writing. Passion, imagination, and wit come into play too, among other elements. What if this grammatically-challenged person had the best story in the world- a piece that spiked your interest on page 1 and didn't stop until the end- do you think they, too, have no business writing?

Linda Adams
02-04-2007, 08:06 PM
What if this grammatically-challenged person had the best story in the world- a piece that got your interest spiked on page 1 and didn't stop until the end- do you think they, too, have no business writing?

I'd have a hard time believing this. If the writer is having such a problem wtih grammar that it stands out just because of that, there's likely to be other serious problems in the story itself. It's not a big leap to think that if the writer is having trouble structuring sentences, they'll also have trouble doing descriptions, setting, and even structuring the story. Grammar is the one skill that does lead to lot of the others.

Kentuk
02-04-2007, 08:10 PM
I remember a novel about a Southern Civil War Vet told in the first person that was quite good and sold well to the history market. Of course I'd argue the author had mastered the grammar and dialect.
I recall Frank Dolby's 'Texas Tales' as another example. I've read a number of war accounts where the author obviously wasn't a writer, simply had a story to tell. Think of the ghost writer market where the material is beyond the help of an editor. I would have to conclude that 'Author does not equal Writer'.

TsukiRyoko
02-04-2007, 08:18 PM
I remember a novel about a Southern Civil War Vet told in the first person that was quite good and sold well to the history market. Of course I'd argue the author had mastered the grammar and dialect.
I recall Frank Dolby's 'Texas Tales' as another example. I've read a number of war accounts where the author obviously wasn't a writer, simply had a story to tell. Think of the ghost writer market where the material is beyond the help of an editor. I would have to conclude that 'Author does not equal Writer'.
Yes! Those types of stories are a wonderful example of what I was referring to. War stories, back-ass wood stories, etc, all types of similar stories, where ths story itself is usually much more intriguing than the literary components. Would the same people that wrote those types of stories-stories that have obviously sold, usually big time- have a chance of making a living from their writing, without bothering to better their grammar?

janetbellinger
02-04-2007, 08:19 PM
Well, Hemingway was a terrible speller apparantly. I think if a person produced a Hemingway quality piece of literature an editor would recognize that through all the errors. Unfortunately though, I am not a Hemingway.

Maryn
02-04-2007, 08:20 PM
One of the two biggies in mystery/suspense short story markets used to mention in its guidelines that they tend to overlook the first overt mistake in a submission but often reject if a second mistake appears on the same page. To them, that suggested a lack of professionalism.

Now I can't remember which it was, so I won't ascribe it to either.

Maryn, who proofreads stuff half to death

TsukiRyoko
02-04-2007, 08:27 PM
One of the two biggies in mystery/suspense short story markets used to mention in its guidelines that they tend to overlook the first overt mistake in a submission but often reject if a second mistake appears on the same page. To them, that suggested a lack of professionalism.

Now I can't remember which it was, so I won't ascribe it to either.

Maryn, who proofreads stuff half to death
:eek: While I do proofread like a maniac, and try my hardest to be grammatically correct while writing, I'm still very self-conscious about my grammar (my spelling's usually dead-on though, for the people who still insist that "commiserable" isn't a word, but a misspelling. It's an adjective, I swear!). I probably make way more than one mistake per page. Despite the fact that I took 4 years of grammar, I still worry. This is mainly because I corrected the grammar teachers a lot (I had 2 different teachers, and they both insisted that "ain't" was not only proper language, but used in formal terms)

ChaosTitan
02-04-2007, 08:31 PM
What's the old saying? Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

It's likely that any large-house published novel written with "bad grammar" was done so on purpose. Someone mentioned "The Color Purple," and I would also throw out the words of Zora Neale Hurston and Dorothy Allison. All tend to use first person narrative, and their narrators are not well-educated. It shows through in the grammar choices the writers make, but those aren't mistakes. Those are part of the style, put there deliberately.

I've heard many folks on this board say that it's relatively easy to get published once. Staying published is the hard part. If bad grammar is your style and part of the narrative, you'll probably be okay. But editors don't exist to correct your (you: the author) bad grammar. Possessing a good command of the English language (or whatever your native tongue may be) is an essential tool in your writer's toolbox. Keep it sharp, keep it close.

Toothpaste
02-04-2007, 09:00 PM
chaostitan - so with you on the "you must learn the rules in order to forget them". TsukiRyoko - I don't know if you were asking a question specifially about yourself, but reading your posts, you seem to have a pretty darn good grasp on the basics of grammar to me, I wouldn't worry about it.

Like everyone has already said, there isn't a book out there that wasn't thought through. And if there is "bad" grammar in the book, you can bet it was a very specific choice. Sentence fragments, ain't instead of isn't, they contribute to the voice of the piece, and the author has most definitely made calculated decisions to write that way.

scarletpeaches
02-04-2007, 09:06 PM
But remember, mastering the language is not the only key point to writing. Passion, imagination, and wit come into play too, among other elements. What if this grammatically-challenged person had the best story in the world- a piece that spiked your interest on page 1 and didn't stop until the end- do you think they, too, have no business writing?

No, they don't. Mastering the language might not be the ONLY point, but it's a very important one. Grammar and spelling are entry-level tools and if they can't master that, I very much doubt the story is any good.

Passion is no good if it's undirected. Imagination is no good unless it's shaped into a proper story. Wit is no good unless one has an understanding of the matter in hand and if one doesn't understand the English language, well...

No one would buy a dress from someone who freely admitted they couldn't sew, but had 'good ideas about clothes'. No one would buy a house from someone who didn't have a clue about architecture but knew what they meant when they started.

Lack of grammar in an aspiring writer makes them look unprofessional and sloppy. I wouldn't waste my money on someone that lazy and the story wouldn't grip me because I wouldn't read past the first paragraph.

veinglory
02-04-2007, 09:13 PM
There are enough writers in the world for publishers to select those with passion, imagination *and* acceptable grammar. In fact, passion is commonplace and imagination only slightly less so.

johnzakour
02-04-2007, 09:18 PM
No, they don't. Mastering the language might not be the ONLY point, but it's a very important one. Grammar and spelling are entry-level tools and if they can't master that, I very much doubt the story is any good.

Passion is no good if it's undirected. Imagination is no good unless it's shaped into a proper story. Wit is no good unless one has an understanding of the matter in hand and if one doesn't understand the English language, well...

No one would buy a dress from someone who freely admitted they couldn't sew, but had 'good ideas about clothes'. No one would buy a house from someone who didn't have a clue about architecture but knew what they meant when they started.



While there are certainly exceptions to every rule, I agree with this.

If a manuscript is laden with mistakes it would be hard to pick out its brilliance over the errors. Kind of the like the trees getting in the way of seeing the forest.

TsukiRyoko
02-04-2007, 10:21 PM
TsukiRyoko - I don't know if you were asking a question specifially about yourself, but reading your posts, you seem to have a pretty darn good grasp on the basics of grammar to me, I wouldn't worry about it. Heehee, thank you. No, I wasn't asking it about myself, this was a question that popped up in my head yesterday and I've been dying to see other's opinions.




Like everyone has already said, there isn't a book out there that wasn't thought through. And if there is "bad" grammar in the book, you can bet it was a very specific choice. Sentence fragments, ain't instead of isn't, they contribute to the voice of the piece, and the author has most definitely made calculated decisions to write that way.
When I think of "ain't", I usually think of it being used in dialogue (the ultimate writer's playground in my opinion. You can do anything you want with dialogue, and it's okay because it's dialogue, damnit!). While I understand that most published works where grammar is thrown out the window is for the sake of showing culture or nationality or the like, would it still be at all possible to get published if the writer really wrote the way they spoke? Or would you say it's almost 100% impossible to get their story to the public unless they either A- obtained better writing skills or B- hired a real writer?

victoriastrauss
02-04-2007, 10:46 PM
I think this discussion is moot, because someone who has a poor grasp of grammatical writing is likely to have a poor grasp of equally important writing skills, such as pacing and structure. You need more than language skills to write a good novel, but language skills are at the foundation of good writing.

Might there be an exception to this? Sure, in rare circumstances. But in most cases, bad grammar is going to be a marker for other serious problems.

- Victoria

Sage
02-04-2007, 10:46 PM
Nothing's 100% impossible, but a writer would probably need some other ace up their sleeve to get the agent to read past the first page of a grammatically poor novel. Something like a famous contact, a friend in the business. Maybe if the author had met the agent or publisher when presenting the book & at some point it had come up that the grammar was part of the voice, not unintentional mistakes. & even then, the story would have to sound pretty impressive before they started before they could overlook it, I would think.

ChaosTitan
02-04-2007, 10:56 PM
would it still be at all possible to get published if the writer really wrote the way they spoke?

Depends. Some people speak with near-perfect grammar and sentence structure. It's how they are taught to think and speak, often from an early age. Those people would have a better chance of being published than someone who writes like Jed Clampett speaks. Unless, as we've said, the character is supposed to sound like Jed Clampett.

But two gets you twenty that any good editor will know the difference.


Or would you say it's almost 100% impossible to get their story to the public unless they either A- obtained better writing skills or B- hired a real writer?

I'd say it's about 99% impossible, because every time you make a judgement call and declare it a "rule", someone comes around to prove you wrong.

Unless the editor had some obligation to read the entire story (which rarely happens), they will probably chuck a poorly written story after a few paragraphs. If someone is serious about being a published writer, they have to learn proper grammar. Period.

Every other professional has to learn the tools of their trade, why should writers be held to a lower standard?


ETA: Posted after Sage, and we seem to be brain-sharing today. ;)

Dave.C.Robinson
02-04-2007, 11:58 PM
Going back to the original question about a good story with horrible grammar; I would say that it not only won't be overlooked but can't be overlooked.

Grammar is a tool that is used to organize words into thoughts. Editors read what the words say, not what the author thought. If the story is riddled with grammatical mistakes, the mistakes may well hide the author's great story from the editor. That person will read what's been written, and reject that, not even seeing the great story beneath.

Sage
02-05-2007, 12:24 AM
ETA: Posted after Sage, and we seem to be brain-sharing today. ;)It's the matching apparel.

Tsuki, have you read Slushkiller (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004641.html)? There's a great part about what leads to rejection, including grammar & spelling issues.

Judg
02-05-2007, 05:23 AM
Submitting an error-laden manuscript to an editor is like hiring an interior decorator and expecting them to pick up your dirty socks. A grammatically-challenged author should hire or coerce a proof-reader first. I did extensive proof-reading for someone near and dear (academic stuff) and it was really stressful. If I were an editor or agent, there is no way I would subject myself to it voluntarily. Unless, of course, it was incredibly unique and sellable and had convinced me of that fact before my frustration caused me to throw it across the room. Not very likely.

Of course, since I'm neither an agent nor an editor, my opinion on this matter is worth squat. But I offer it anyway. ;)

benbradley
02-05-2007, 07:12 AM
Every other professional has to learn the tools of their trade, why should writers be held to a lower standard?

Just to toss in an analogy...

There are many famous musicians who never learned music formally, but like those who speak with good grammar yet don't know the names of parts of speech, such musicians DO have an intimate knowledge of scales, chords and musical relationships, even if they don't know the names of these things.

Manat
02-05-2007, 06:54 PM
I just sold my first novel, which was also my first manuscript and first attempt at writing. I have a post graduate degree and felt confident in my writing abilities, but clearly, I made a lot of mistakes. I had issues with capitalizing names and titles, proper use of ... and-”, italicizing foreign words and phrases, words written with British/Canadian spelling instead of American, overuse of that, and believe it or not, I didn't know you needed to have a comma in front of a name when writing dialogue.

It was originally rejected with a letter saying their readers loved it, but their editor felt there was just too much editing for her to want to take it on. She included a complete line edit of the first chapter. It was so marked up I felt about two feet tall. Two days later though, the acquisitions editor called and said if I used the edited first chapter as a style guide and got the manuscript back to them within two weeks, it would go straight to the editor's desk and she would look at it again. I did, and my book will be released in mass market paperback in 2008.

I realize I was very lucky this particular editor took the time and interest to do what she did, and I have really learned a lot from her. I have since acquired an agent, but I had no luck before that despite lots of requests for fulls and partials. I shudder to think how many agents and publishers might have turned it down because of errors that took me two days to correct once they were pointed out and I understood them.

Kentuk
02-06-2007, 06:53 AM
Was Homer an illiterate author?

Sage
02-06-2007, 07:38 AM
Just to toss in an analogy...

There are many famous musicians who never learned music formally, but like those who speak with good grammar yet don't know the names of parts of speech, such musicians DO have an intimate knowledge of scales, chords and musical relationships, even if they don't know the names of these things.
A carpenter doesn't need to know what a hammer is called to know how to use it, but he still has to learn how to use it correctly so that he doesn't hit his finger or make a mess out of a project he's working on. A musician doesn't need to know what a chord is called to master it, but he still needs to learn how to put those notes together to sound nice, then mix them with other chords to continue sounding nice so the audience doesn't run screaming with their hands over their ears. A writer doesn't need to know what a prepositional phrase is called to use it correctly, but he still needs to learn whether it needs commas around it & how to string other parts of language with it to make a coherent sentence that doesn't throw the reader off.

ErylRavenwell
02-06-2007, 08:02 AM
Gemmell's Waylander (at least the earliest edition) is full of mistakes (typos mostly though. Looks like it wasn't professionally edited.) However, the plot is so brilliant that the mistakes don't erode the credibility of the writer. But you're not Gemmell.

scarletpeaches
02-06-2007, 04:09 PM
I'd lose respect for anyone, even Gemmell (whom I've never read anyway, and isn't on my TBR list) if they couldn't spell. Their editor should have spotted those errors so at best, he's represented by an illiterate idiot.

Jamesaritchie
02-06-2007, 07:09 PM
I'd lose respect for anyone, even Gemmell (whom I've never read anyway, and isn't on my TBR list) if they couldn't spell. Their editor should have spotted those errors so at best, he's represented by an illiterate idiot.

Spelling is not grammar, and many excellent writers, and excellent grammarians, are lousy spellers. And don't automatically blame editors for typos. A bad typesetter can screw up the best manuscript.

In the end, however, it is up to the writer to eliminate typos. He gets to read the galley proofs, and this is when it matters.

scarletpeaches
02-06-2007, 07:10 PM
Spelling mistakes are as irritating as grammatical errors - that was my point.

Silverhand
02-07-2007, 03:31 AM
First, I agree with James. How bad are the grammatical errors we are talking about? What one person considers poor grammar another will consider acceptable.

Second, I think if the story "Is" good enough, grammar will be overlooked. Maybe it won't be overlooked by an aquisition editor...or the person's peers, but are either of them "really" the appropriate judge? I say, no. The people who decide whether poor grammar is acceptable or not are the readers. And, lets face it...there are certainly best-selling books out there that have horrid grammar---books many of you hate or bang on. Of course, these same books have sold millions of copies and are beloved by readers. Note: I said "readers" not other "authors". In my opinion, once you pick up a pen and decide to critique the words of another person, you stop being unbiased.

Saying that, if the words are completely indecipherable there is a major problem for everyone involved and I can certainly recognize that fact.

Toothpaste
02-07-2007, 03:37 AM
Sorry Silverhand, but could you give some examples of these books with bad grammar? Seriously just curious.

Cat Scratch
02-07-2007, 03:54 AM
I just sold my first novel, which was also my first manuscript and first attempt at writing. I have a post graduate degree and felt confident in my writing abilities, but clearly, I made a lot of mistakes. I had issues with capitalizing names and titles, proper use of ... and-, italicizing foreign words and phrases, words written with British/Canadian spelling instead of American, overuse of that, and believe it or not, I didn't know you needed to have a comma in front of a name when writing dialogue.

It was originally rejected with a letter saying their readers loved it, but their editor felt there was just too much editing for her to want to take it on. She included a complete line edit of the first chapter. It was so marked up I felt about two feet tall. Two days later though, the acquisitions editor called and said if I used the edited first chapter as a style guide and got the manuscript back to them within two weeks, it would go straight to the editor's desk and she would look at it again. I did, and my book will be released in mass market paperback in 2008.

I realize I was very lucky this particular editor took the time and interest to do what she did, and I have really learned a lot from her. I have since acquired an agent, but I had no luck before that despite lots of requests for fulls and partials. I shudder to think how many agents and publishers might have turned it down because of errors that took me two days to correct once they were pointed out and I understood them.


Sound to me, Manat, that your basic grasp of language was still good enough to make the manuscript readable. If someone forgets not only a comma, but entire quote marks, and uses endless run-on sentences I bet they wouldn't have had the luck you had.

Congrats, by the way!

ErylRavenwell
02-07-2007, 03:56 AM
I'd lose respect for anyone, even Gemmell (whom I've never read anyway, and isn't on my TBR list) if they couldn't spell. Their editor should have spotted those errors so at best, he's represented by an illiterate idiot.


Well, you might change your mind one of these days. Waylander has at time two mistakes per page (there's even confusion about the name of one of the Generals at one point (his worst crime I recon)). Initially, I couldn't help but feel slightly superior to him, but after 50 pages or so I was in awe. The plot whetted my interest and couldn't stop reading. I stopped reading critically and the mistakes didn't bother me.

It's not that Gemmell couldn't spell, he was simply negligent. And yes, the editor's a complete tool; assuming the first edition was actually edited.

Kentuk
02-07-2007, 06:02 AM
Think it interesting to move thread to songwriters, see what they say.

Maybe a thread where we discard the tiresome rules of grammar yet strive to communicate effectively.

Silverhand
02-07-2007, 10:53 AM
Sorry Silverhand, but could you give some examples of these books with bad grammar? Seriously just curious.

The Dinvici Code and Eragon are the two that come directly to mind. You may disagree with me...and when you do, I will point out that there are 1327 (made up #, I know) writers on this forum who are disgusted that either of these writers are published, let alone best-selling.

Theoretically, you can also add some of the ancient work in...as those have been redited about 500 times (again an arbitrary number) to make them MORE grammatically correct by today's standards.

Finally, if you have not read The Return of the Shadow, then I would recommend you do. Why? Because it was the first draft of The Lord of the Rings...and each book shows Tolkien's progression on his masterpiece. Ya, I know the dude was a linguist and genious. However, read his son's notes of the first draft of LOTR sometime. If I remember correctly, (it has been awhile since I read the first draft books) Tolkien submitted them to the publishing house as is....and in some places his book is almost unreadable. (In my humble opinion at least)

Toothpaste
02-07-2007, 07:48 PM
I find that the distaste for Eragon and the Da Vinci code by other writers comes from mediocre writing techniques and not bad grammar. There is a difference. Eragon is wordy, and Da Vinci is cliche. As for technically bad grammar . . . it's like with JK Rowling. A prevalance of adverbs doesn't mean that the grammar is bad. Just that the writing technique is (for the record I love her books, but she is always called on her adverb usage so that's why I brought it up).

I wouldn't really count writers in history, like Shakespeare etc, as a viable example of works being published despite bad grammar. The tradition in history was that story telling was oral/aural. The majority of people couldn't read. When things were published it was after the work was already popular. And anyway, the language then had no rules spelling or grammar wise, Shakespeare himself couldn't decide how to spell his own name.

However that is very interesting about Tolkien submitting his work as almost unreadable. I did not know that. So I guess you can be published if you have horrible grammar. If, you know, you're as good as Tolkien.