Occupational Hazards — 6 Comments

  1. I am not a writer so I cannot comment on those experiences. But I was a EL ED teacher for a time and as soon as I had earned my teaching certificate found that I could no longer spell. I learned a trick. “OK, class, I am going to spell some words wrong on purpose. I will reward anyone who finds a mistake with…” (could be a dime or a quarter – although if you misspell a lot the latter could be expensive). This was especially true with blackboard writing. I didn’t dare correct a teacher who told my daughter that “conquer” was the incorrect spelling of “concer”. We looked it up in the dictionary so she would know she was correct but I explained that this particular teacher would hold a grudge if my daughter or I corrected her. My pet peeve is those who can’t put an apostrophe on the first of a double possessive, i.e., Susan’s and Mary’s wagons. I keep a pencil by my rocker to print in corrections. And we all read what we meant to write, be it author or layperson.

    • Yep. I an really bad about that. The years when I was teaching, I could find my students’ errors, but mine are another story!

  2. If I find an error in a book I’m reading, I’ll make a note of it and bring it to the author’s attention. Of course I’ll try to be as polite about it as possible. It sounds like being able to edit the way you do is both a blessing and a curse.

  3. Maria, I love this post about grammar and punctuation. I get really wound up by inappropriate apostrophes when I see them in signs for public display. Have you ever read the book by Lynn Truss called “Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation”? My copy actually had a sheet of stickers in it so that one could cover up any offending punctuation marks one came acros and could easily access.

    • P.S. As a sci-fi geek and huge fan of Anne McCaffrey as well as Jane Austen, a P & P variation involving dragons would be amazing.

      I also have an ever evolving handbag (purse to you guys over the pond). The one I use for work is now a backpack like yours and my husband wants to know if I keep bowling balls in it!

  4. If I am reading a paperback version I just note the correction, but now with Kindle I find myself ignoring some but on one book with many authors and already on a second edition I did not the typos and sent such to one author. I hope I did not offend in doing so b/c I just love having all these books to read, typos or not.

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