My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mailbox: One for the F.A.Q.

[Remember, keep sending in your questions to chris.brecheen@gmail.com with the subject line "W.A.W. Mailbox" and I will answer them each Thursday as long as I have enough to do.  I will use your first name ONLY unless you tell me explicitly that you'd like me to use your full name or you would prefer to remain anonymous.  My comment policy also may mean one of your comments ends up in the mailbox.]  

Several People Have Asked:

Are you aware of _suchandsuch_ grammar error?

My reply:

I've gotten some form of this question enough that I think it needs to go in the Frequently Asked Questions.  Feel free to take a look at what other gems I get on a regular basis--everything from "Did X event really happen to you?"  (one guy asked me if I really had an evil clone, and for the life of me, I couldn't tell if he was kidding) to "Are you some kind of depraved pervert?"  (Yes, but that's completely beside the point!)  

If peeps are asking me if I know I make grammar mistakes...IN GENERAL...  Yeah.  I know.  I make so many grammar mistakes that first graders kick me in the shins and steal my chocolate milk.  Copy editing is a skill, and like most writers, I am much less good at it when I'm looking at my own writing.  (It is the perpetual writer's curse of knowing what you meant, and high on the list of reasons that every writer needs peer review and/or an editor.)  I'm slowly getting better at cleaning up my own copy, and I've got a second set of eyes with Supportive Girlfriend on any article I can get written the night before I post, but it's still very much a work in progress and even together we don't always catch everything.  I almost always publish an article with a couple of real boners and have to go back and clean it up.  

But I'm getting better.  Getting called out and embarrassing myself turns out to be pretty good motivation for trying harder.  And even though my superhero weakness is procrastination, I'm trying to get articles written a couple of days before I post them, so that I have a bit of lead time to comb and have Supportive Girlfriend give them a once over.  I tried doing a training montage, but at the end of the song, I was still trying to figure out if there was a comma mistake in my first sentence.

Now, if you're asking me about a specific mistake (in the same sort of way someone might ask "Did you know you're zipper is down" or "Did you know you just peed in the closet?" I probably did not know about it or I would have fixed it/not done it.  (The exception might be esoteric or anachronistic grammar that I have deliberately ignored because this blog is hip and trendy....except for its use of words like "hip" and "trendy".)  I am happy to have any mistakes pointed out.  So if your question is a way of pointing something out, thank you!

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