Friday, June 13, 2014

Grammar mistakes

Recently, I have been finding what I think are way too many writing mistakes in my posts after they're published and I'm embarrassed by them. Then I remembered a post I did about this a while back and thought I would rerun it. Apparently, I'm still working on the "Get Over It Already" concept. 



or Get Over It Already

My writing helpers otherwise known as my excuses.

Do you ever read something someone has written such as a letter, email, or an article and find mistakes? Then you wonder how someone could make mistakes so obvious and think, "Shouldn't they know better or at least proofread their work better?" Well, I do that all of the time when I read my own blog posts. Unfortunately, I usually find the problems long after I hit publish and it drives me crazy.

However, I'm trying to get over that. I'm trying not to worry about mistakes I may make because that takes away from the pleasure of communicating with all of you. I am trying to accept that I am doing the best I can under the circumstances. Sometimes those circumstances involve constantly removing one cat from in front of the monitor while another is trying to get on my lap. Sometimes I am writing when I'm really tired so I can publish a post the next morning before I go to work. Sometimes Blogger spacing is not working, so I am concentrating on that instead of concentrating on what I am writing. And sometimes I'm confused because it seems all the grammar rules that I thought I once knew have changed.

But wait, there I go again. I'm making excuses for my blog imperfections instead of accepting that good enough is good enough. While I will try to write well when writing for my blog, life is too short to worry about occasional misplaced modifiers and misspelled words. And that is what I'm going to keep telling myself until I really believe it.

Note: Sometimes I have an idea for a post and the words and the pictures just come together effortlessly and flawlessly. Wow, I love that feeling.


  1. Live and learn,
    This is my take on mistakes in my blog posts. Yes, I make mistakes, but I never promised to be a professional writer with blogging. Blogging is like a phone call. I don't always speak in proper grammar on the phone, either.

    We're all online friends, here, so we accept that there are mistakes in posts. It's not like we have a staff, or even an assistant, who will proof everything for us. I think so long as we're understood (without too much effort on the reader's behalf), a mistake here or there is inconsequential. I find typos in my published posts all the time. Sometimes, I correct them, sometimes I don't really have the time. Blogging is something I add to my life, which already feels pretty busy.

    And we're all coming to blogging at different skill levels with writing. I was NOT an English major. Blogging is more about communication that publication. And that works at any skill level.

    What I am grateful for, though, is blogging gives me added experience with writing, and I think my skill only improves the more I do it. I like getting better at something I'm practicing.

    My dad used to tell me, "don't sweat the small stuff, kid". Maybe that's true here, as well.

    1. If both of you don't mind grammatical errors from those commenting, we won't be critical of the occasional mistake in your posts! :) If either of you had truly awful grammar, I wouldn't follow your blogs. It would be too distracting. However ... this is a blog, not a college textbook. It's supposed to be fun and/or thought provoking. I find that when people are overly critical of spelling or grammar, it shuts the speaker down. That person is so afraid of using the incorrect format when communicating that he/she stops communicating. The person correcting may think they are "helping" but seldom is that the case. Personally, while I do love grammar and spelling (nerd alert!), I find it is much more helpful to review my comments to make sure my comments are kind, encouraging, and won't be misinterpreted. I'm sure I don't always succeed on either the grammar OR the kindness aspects, but I try! I am drawn to both of your blogs because we have similar interests and you both are gracious in your responses.

    2. Lili, You're absolutely right in your attitude and intellectually I agree. Sometimes, however, my perfectionism gets in the way. I may be more focused on writing mistakes because I work with people who make comments all of the time about mistakes they see in others writing. It tunes me into it more that I might otherwise be.

      I definitely was not an English major. I only had one English class in college (tested out of one.) I avoided the English classes in favor of science classes.

    3. Kris, You're always indeed gracious and interesting in your comments. I look forward to hearing from you. As to your Nerd alert--Do you want to do a guest post on the evolution of grammar from what you learned in school to what your kids are learning? I find there is a big difference between what I learned and what is accepted in formal publishing these days. It drives me crazy. When I learned grammar I thought they were rules, like math has rules. I didn't think about the way language evolves over time whether I like it or not.

    4. Thus far, I have seen many more differences in how math is taught than in English and grammar teaching methods. If I notice big changes after Andrew has been in middle school, I would be up for doing a guest post. I think our elementary school has several "old-school" teachers and they insist on similar grammar usage as what I learned. I smile when I hear my kids tell me that the teachers say, "I don't know ... CAN you go to the bathroom?" and so on--I remember those comments well.

      I have noticed with my adult nieces and nephews that grammar seems to be much more relaxed (non-existent???) and it makes me crazy. Then again, I loved diagramming sentences. I learned to do that in 6th grade so I will be watching my son to see if that is taught anymore. I found it to be such a useful tool in learning the proper formulation of a sentence. I hope they still do it because I've forgotten much of what I used to know and could use a refresher!

    5. I think it's fairly common for school districts to be continuously changing the best way they think math should be taught. They're always trying to catch up to other countries where kids score better on math tests. At least in some cases, they don't factor in how much more time the kids spend on math both at school and at home to get these better scores.

      And the language arts (reading and writing) also go through cycles of what they feel is the best way to teach it. When my kids were in school, grammar had to be incorporated into writing. It was not part of the formal curriculum as mandated by the county. So there was no time devoted to specific grammar lessons. I think that was a mistake because there needs to be a certain amount of time learning the basics just like learning the multiplication tables in math. My kids had some teachers that slipped in grammar exercises when they could. But certainly there was no time for anything like diagramming sentences.

      And the result of all of these experiments? My kids did very well in math because that's what they liked. And they're pretty good with grammar--however several of the rules I was taught had changed for them.

  2. Oh... I can TOTALLY relate to this post! When did the part of my brain that knows the difference between "to" and "too" or "there" and "they're" fall out onto the floor and get squished? Seriously, I wince in pain sometimes when I read what has come out of my fingers. For me, I think that I've just become too reliant on the automatic spell-checkers, which often steer you quite wrong when it comes to issues of grammar. So then when I'm proof-reading, I just get lazy and if I don't see those little red lines telling me that something is wrong, I can miss those kinds of typos.

    I also HATE those automatic spell corrector things because often it "corrects" my typos to create something completely different from what I intended to say - and then my lazy proof-reading gets me again.

    But... the other difference is that when I was writing "for real" (like when I was in school) we didn't have word processors, so you didn't have the luxury of typing faster than you could accurately type in the first place, nor could you indulge in endless editing. Some of my worst grammatical disasters come about by getting a little carried away with the cutting and pasting.

    All that being said though, I do think that people are becoming more lax with the rules. I don't have a specific example to share, but at least once a week some news reporter will say something so utterly wrong that it just makes me cringe and start shouting at the television. I know I shouldn't throw stones, because my house is not exactly, ahem, shatterproof, but seriously, aren't professional journalists supposed to know better?

    Anyhow, I totally agree with both Lili and Kris when it comes to blogging. If we held ourselves to a standard of perfection, nobody would ever get a post up or a comment posted!

    1. I know what you mean about the typing. One day Wally was watching me type and said, "You type as fast backwards as you do forwards." Meaning I was continuously typing and correcting. Getting more correct in the first place, might be a better way, but it's a skill of days gone by. Spell check is definitely a double edged sword.


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