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January 17, 2006

Stop wearing the "illiterate moron" sign online.

This morning, I got up, sat down at my PC and promptly put on my "illiterate moron" sign by getting a wee bit sloppy with my choice of words in the previous post.

Now, I'm a writer: sometimes I write code, sometimes I write words (all the time I write bills): I can usually navigate this messy grammar, punctuation, spelling (GPS?) stuff well enough to satisfy everyone but Kim, the copyeditor.

But today, I hung the stupid sign on my back and "Nix" promptly gave me a swift kick for using "you're" when I meant "your".

So what, you say? You are known by the words you use, especially online, and it pays to have a Getting Things Done process in place so you don't borrow my sign.

Here's my new Checklist for every post:

  • Write it.
  • Copy the text to Word and let it spell/grammar check it.
  • Correct the copy back in TypePad.
  • Read the post again.
  • Especially check for my two usage pains: its/it's and you're/your.

Yes, TypePad has a spellchecker, I think they must have bought it from WordStar or MultiMate or some defunct word processing company that died last century: it is worthless. So, for now, that's the plan.

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Sorry about that earlier comment. It was really bad trolling actuallly, and I know YOU are not an illiterate moron - that's why I keep coming back for more.

It's just that one mistake (and the "could of" one) that always freaks me out like nails on a chalkboard. I don't even know why. And english is not even my first language so I probably make quite a few errors myself. And lack any style in my writings.

Like Nix, I am irritated by spelling mistakes. Like you, Bob, I think getting it right in public is important. Unlike you, I have never felt the need for a spelling checker :-). But really, I think "illiterate moron" is er... overstating the case.

Of course, there are those who argue that if something is in common usage, it is valid, regardless of what the rules and dictionaries say. Terry's example of "lose/loose" is a case in point. Another would be "barbecue/barbeque". Another would be "is/are", as in "none of them is coming".

Also, sympathise with me, as a non-American, having to so often put up with seeing "errors" such as "traveling", "license", etc, etc.

I use WordPress and have a similar process... Compose the blog, copy-n-paste to Word, fix the typos & grammar and finally publish. I guess there are also spell-checkers available for WP, but they don't seem to be compatible with 2.0 just yet.

I have to agree though, typos in blog posts drive me nuts. I realize it's often the flow of consciousness, but a little proofreading goes a long way.

[pause for Word spell-check]

All clear to publish...

But "Nix" had a promising future career as a blog typo corrector. Your plan will put an end to that...

Oh, don't forget my all time favorite pet hate: using loose when you meant lose. Repeat after me:

I'm about to LOSE my mind.

LOOSE lips sink ships.

I'm amazed by the frequency of this mistake.

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