If you’ve read my blog for any period of time you’ve probably noticed spelling and grammar errors here and there. My spell checker usually catches the obvious misspellings, but it’s not so great at spotting when I’ve used an incorrect homophone or made a grammatical error. In these situations most people ignore the error, feeling that it might be rude to point it out. Well, I wanted to tell you that I don’t consider it rude, in fact I consider it helpful. So, if you see an error please feel free to correct me. Read on and I tell you how to do just that.
I think my spelling and grammar woes stem from the fact I was phonetically tortured as a child. Way back in the 1970’s when I attended infant school, I was subjected to a 45 character alphabet known as ITA, the Initial Teaching Alphabet.
ITA is a phonetic transcription of English sounds that was supposed to make learning English easier for small children. It was developed in the early 1960’s then later embraced by long haired ‘all-you-need-is-love’ hippies who somehow managed to get into the business of steering British educational policy.
Between puffs of whatever it was they were smoking, those educational hippies decided that subjecting small children to a needlessly complex alphabet would be a really great idea. This was probably because those same hippies knew that they would one day grow into red pen-wielding nazi teachers who got their kicks by scrawling over every word grammatically confused children would write.
Okay, I’m being a little dramatic, but it’s not unfair to say that ITA was nothing short of a educational catastrophe that likely spawned a generation that struggle with reading and writing.
DESPITE THE TORTURE
The thing is, I love writing. I like it when I write something that when I read it back later I get a buzz out of the fact that ‘I wrote that.’ I also love putting material out there for other people to read if they wish, casting blog posts out into the world wide web like messages in a bottle thrown into the sea.
My problem is that I am blind to most of the errors you see. So my misspellings and grammar goofs end up floating around out there like imperfections on an otherwise carefully crafted work. These days I’m getting better at catching them, but some still get threw (get it?).
Most people overlook them, but every so often someone will point out a mistake and allow me the opportunity to fix it. I really value that. In fact, I consider it an act of kindness.
YOU CAN BE THE TEACHER
So, if you see a mistake, be it a spelling error or grammatical blunder, you shouldn’t be shy in pointing it out to me. You can do that by clicking on the ‘contact‘ link in the column on the right, then sending me a note.
You can also use the very handy Editz service and make a correction without leaving the page. Just hit the ‘Editz’ button at the bottom of the right column, then highlight the error and correct it. I’ll then get an email which showing me the suggested correction. [Editz has since shut down operations, though I take no responsibility for overloading their system!]
Of course, you don’t have to correct me when I’m wrong if that’s not your thing. But for the grammarians among you, you can now get out your proverbial red pen and remind me of my school days. I just hope I’ve improved since then!
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