When Incorrect Grammar Is Just the Right Thing

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Vol. 1 Brooklyn has a nifty recurring feature called “Making Progress,” in which they interview writers about their process during projects that are still unfinished.

In the latest installment, James Yeh has some really enchanting thoughts about “language that is in some way ‘off'” and how he uses it as a jumping-off point.

The first example—a remark by my father after witnessing a longhaired shirtless man…has since become, in the story, “I thought that was a naked girl, says my father, pronouncing it as ‘nekkid.’ I look over at my father, but cannot tell how serious he’s being.”


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →