Following on from my little rant about having trouble reading, being the picky writer I am and thus focusing on grammar over story, I’d like to ask everyone about this little conundrum.
“A couple days ago, Callie had a premonition that I needed to go to the strait to help.” (from “Gods and Mortals: Eleven Novels Featuring Thor, Loki, Greek Gods, Native American Spirits, Vampires, Werewolves, & More” by C. Gockel, S. T. Bende, Christine Pope, Eva Pohler, Laura Howard, DelSheree Gladden, Nancy Straight, Karen Lynch, Kim Richardson, Becca Mills)
“A couple of days ago, Callie had….”
See the difference? Of. One tiny word. Big difference.
Now, I always believed “of” should always accompany “couple”. I use it myself. However, the book I’m currently reading omits “of” every time “couple” is used. This irks me. A lot.
I thought about other nouns used to describe quantities; “a few”… “a dozen”… “a number” and there doesn’t appear to be set rules about “of”;
“A few days ago…”
“A dozen days ago…”
“A number of days ago…”
Hm. No rhyme or reason. So, I hit the dictionary.
And couple is, er, coupled with “of” every time.
So, what does all this say for the book I’m reading? Well, as it’s a series of short stories, and every story so far has the absence of, well, “of” before “couple”, methinks it’s the fault of the editor. The editor! The folk who should know better than us writerly folk how to grammar!
So I implore my fellow readers, writers and editor friends. What’s the deal here? Should couple have an “of” behind it, or do you use the skin crawling “a couple days ago” in your own work?
A couple of things to ponder. Or, a couple things to ponder…