Opps – I mean, oops

NOT opps
One of the inevitable things about writing a daily blog edited by no one is that, now and then, I’ll get something wrong. (I know you are shocked, from that gnashing of teeth I’m hearing.)

Occasionally, it’s something that is substantial. I wrote about the Electoral College recently and said that Maine and Missouri were the two states that had proportional allocation of EC votes, when it was Maine and Nebraska; obviously, I had the Missouri Compromise of 1820 stuck in my mind, in which Maine joined the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state.

More common, though, are typos. Not typos, per se, but a word or a letter left out so that the spellcheck wouldn’t catch it. One time Arthur, who had also caught the previous mistake, found THREE errors in one of my pieces. I was SO angry, not at him, but at me. I was only mildly comforted when I could find a mistake of his.

I have discovered out is that some people like being corrected. Let me say that a better way: some people want to have corrections noted, so that they may fix them. I don’t LIKE being corrected, but I NEED the blog to be as write as it can – wait, as RIGHT as it reasonably can be. So does Arthur, and Lisa.

I’ve made it a practice to e-mail folks with corrections whenever possible, rather than leaving it on the page, though it depends on the circumstances. Brian Ibbott has the podcast Coverville, and Arthur a couple of podcasts. If they write something in the description that’s incorrect, I’m going to e-mail them. But if they SAY something that’s incorrect on the podcast itself, I’m more likely to write something in the comments section.

Then there are those people who I NEVER correct. They may write well content-wise, but they make the same spelling errors over and over again; I won’t name names. Pointing out their mistakes, only to see them there the next time is too Sisyphean.

11 thoughts on “Opps – I mean, oops”

  1. I really am convinced, when it comes to spelling errors, that there are some that just get engrained in our brains for one reason or another. For me, I try to avoid using the word ‘rein’ because I inevitably want to type it as ‘reign’. I have no idea why. Of course, that probably seems an obscure example, but as someone who was writing an epic fantasy novel a while back, it REALLY got to be a peign! (See what I did there?)


  2. I’ll admit to being one of the worst spellers on the planet (thank god for speelcheck :-). ) That said what truly irritates me is when we’re duped while writing a post. We read someone else’s post only to find out later that some of the facts were left out or that an idea was distorted. The concept of “death panels” comes to mind as an example. No, I wasn’t fooled having just completed a living will but so many others were. So should you make a typo you have my forgiveness, just keep the facts straight.


  3. The worst is when a poster leaves a correction, followed by an insult; it’s difficult to self-edit, and things get overlooked sometimes.


    1. Steve – can’t remember the topic, but it was a serious point in Salon mag online. The author wrote it’s instead of its, and the first commenter totally acted as though his whole point was negated.


  4. Now I’m paranoid… 🙂

    I like to know my mistakes. I also use Google Chrome specifically for the spellchecker.


  5. I rely on spellcheckers twice: In Word, where I write my posts, and again when I past the text into Blogger, where Firefox looks over my shoulder to see if I’ve missed something. And I often have (or maybe it was Word…). When a mistake inevitably gets through, I welcome someone pointing it out to me, as you’ve done, Roger. I also think your standard of emailing people is a good one: I don’t publicly shaming people who make mistakes, especially minor ones like spelling.

    I also think that demeur makes an important point, which I suppose gets at transparency through revealing sources (and today I published a post on that very thing). Spelling is something we can all evaluate, but how are we supposed to evaluate information provided without citation of sources?

    My most troublesome word is “from”, which I often type as “form”. And that’s without even getting into the whole US v. NZ spelling confusion…

    Rilly intresting post, Roger!


  6. I worked at a not-for-profit where all “bulk” letters had to go through me before copying and mailing. One woman slipped hers out, and she hadn’t noticed that instead of “pantry” (this was a hunger relief program in my hometown), she had written “panty”! It went out to a bunch of churches and oy, the calls we got… Pretty funny, actually.

    I’ve also seen “manager” instead of “manger” in Christmas programs and other such typos. There are a few friends who point out my typos (I never have another fresh set of eyes handy), but yesterday, I accidentally used “sign” instead of “sing.” My mom the jazz singer is turning in her grave… because she was also a proofreader!

    The worst typo of all will come up soon on my blog. It was from Riley’s yearbook… (wait for it…) Thanks, Rogarrrr! (wink) Amhhhhyiii


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