Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Call me names.....


... but when people misspell things (consistently) and/or misuse words, it gets under my skin.

And I'm not exactly a fussy (1) type person who snickets about little weird things that other people scarcely notice or care about.

Yep. I'm guilty of typing whole passages (stories or comment) really fast, misspelling a few words and leaving other important words out. Or I phrase things wrong or backwards (because my brain works weird sometimes). But I try to correct as fast as I can, because little errors rattle my cage.

The funny (or sad) note about the story I published recently is I was terrified about what I was going to see when I clicked on the magazine and read my story as published. This has happened to me before, because not all online magazines edit the things they publish. They probably should, but sometimes minor typos sneak through. It's like with your local newspaper too, sometimes typos slip past all the editing staffs' eagle eyes. With online magazines slipped-past typos are all the more prevalent, because the mags have a smaller staff.

When I clicked on my story, you can bet I immediately spotted two errors that still bug me. I pointed them out to my sister (my writing and reading buddy for forever) and she laughed at me. Even though she is exactly the same way! Hfff.

Do other people feel the same way? Or are they ambivalent to their errors until somebody else spots them? Or do they just not care?

While browsing the forums on NANO (they are alive and stirring in anticipation of the month ahead), I noticed various posts with various blatant typos. These are the type of typos that are excusable if a child under ten makes them (my niece has the most endearing typos ever), but they get a little embarrassing the older you get.

I don't really like people who are correct all the time and put on airs. Everybody needs to remember that where they might have strengths, they still have weaknesses elsewhere. That isn't the point.

I'm just saying that if you practice good grammar in speech and good spelling/grammar in writing, it gets to the point where you instinctively spell and write things the right way the first time without relying on your spellcheck and critters for editing. And of course, you don't have to worrying about paying $ for editing services just to make your novel readable for critters.

I'm saying you should practice good spelling and grammar all the time, not just when you are officially writing. Good habits save time.

The other thing that bugged me is the misuse of words - and this quibble was triggered when I spotted somebody saying they were 'humbled' to receive an award. PEOPLE PLEASE STOP SAYING YOU ARE HUMBLED WHEN YOU MEAN HONORED OR PROUD. THANK YOU.(2) The proper use of 'humbled' would be in those cases when you realize how far you have to go to measure up to the greatness of others. I am humbled every time I read a great book and realize how much I need to improve my writing.


Random notes that may or may not have something to do with writing:




*Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote a sequel to the Phantom of the Opera (POTO). I'm not 100% sure of the title, but technically is "The Phantom of Coney Island". In the story, Eric has given up on Le Parisian life and moved to New York (or New Jersey) where he became the founder of the Jersey Boys. No, I'm kidding. He becomes the owner or something at a Coney Island (which apparently is some kind of park?!) . The story is all about him wishing he could hook up with Christine again. Something we know isn't going to happen, because we all saw the tombstone in the movie where she was the wife of Raul and mother of his offspring. I haven't the faintest idea WHY you'd want to see this. Even if the music is good (my sister has been listening to snippets on Youtube time and again, and vouches for the goodness). Phantom of Coney Island? That just brings up mental images of coney dogs and striped uniforms. Also, greasy coney island diners. Never!

*NANO is officially next week. Saturday. Midnight. Thanks to DST, it means I can stay up an hour later without worrying about being a zombie the next morning. YAY. I'm planning on getting my first 1000 words done. Tempted to cheat and begin at 11PM, claiming that in my house the clocks are switched before bedtime, not at 2AM. I'll behave though.

*We are having a real fall after all! Went for walk with doglet and friend, and it was warm and golden outside. I'm pleased. We have odd birds lingering in the area - possibly stopping in for the nice weather before they continue their travels south. Heard a bird call that made my heart twist up. It sounded like a hurt puppy. I almost thought it was a hurt puppy and would have gone trompsing rudely into somebody's backyard to check. It moved very quickly and silently almost a city block distance while still making that weird call. Very likely an owl or night hawk. This means I'll be sitting on bird id trying to find the exact same call.

*While looking up owls on "What Bird", discovered that a group of owls is called a "bazaar", "glaring", "parliament", "stooping", and "wisdom" of owls. Why do those terms crack me up? Particularly the "glaring". Can you imagine announcing to the world, "World, I just saw a glaring of owls." Haha.

(1) Said fussy, simply because I hate using the word 'anal', even if that other word would probably fit better.

(2) Yes, I screamed that, and it was necessary.

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