Monday, September 17, 2012

Ray Bradbury Can't Write

I really like Ray Bradbury. He was one of America's greatest Science Fiction writers and was a champion of good reading and writing practices for more than 50 years.

So it is really surprising to learn that Ray can't write. I was at the El Cholo restaurant on Western Avenue in Los Angeles last Friday and this plaque was beside us on the wall:

You may notice that there are at least 6 different punctuation and basic writing mistakes going on here. Maybe I'm being overly critical, except this book - Bradbury Speaks - is itself a book of criticisms!

1. It just reads RON. It doesn't say TO RON or FOR RON. It's like he's yelling at RON to get his attention; RON HERE IS YOUR DEDICATION.

2. It's all in CAPITALS. Even his signature is in capitals! Somebody push the Caps Unlock key on Ray!

3. El Cholo is enclosed in quotation marks. This is just flat wrong. Quotation marks are used to surround quoted text or that name of a written work. They are not used for the names of Mexican Restaurants.

4. I don't know, but the use of "ONE" here just seems clumsy. Shouldn't it be SOMEONE?

5. The date at the top. It isn't really wrong but why is it contracted to "AUG." and "05?" Why is  a perfectly creative and top notch writer bending to convention and contracting the date? Is it really going to save him a huge amount of time? Is he in a hurry? Is RON in the middle of a huge line of people he's signing books for?

6. And finally, Ray didn't write this on the correct page! Notice that he has to scrawl all over the title and sub-title of the book and obscure the lettering. This is because Ray has written all over the Title Page of the book, not the Dedication Page or the Blank Page placed before the Title Page that is set aside for personal dedications!

Overall, it's just nice knowing that Ray Bradbury made as many writing mistakes as I do. R.I.P.

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