Following on from my last post about the perils of slavishly following the dictates of a machine editor, I had this salutary lessons. I was editing a story in which a character quotes Shakespeare’s speech from As You Like It:
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.”
My editing software says the Bard of Avon made some schoolboy errors here. The whole thing has a “glue index” of 51.4%. Glue words are the 200 or so most common words in English, which slow the reader down. Worse still, the first sentence has 71.4% of “glue” words – all, the, world. ‘s, a, and, men.
Ha! Much ado about nothing.