Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two for Tuesday

Unless you've spent the last decade living in a cave on some remote Pacific island, you know how the Internet has transformed the way we receive information.  Freelance writers and content mills now generate a good portion of what we read online, and unfortunately, not all content is copyedited.

I found this error in an online article about the oddities of this year's Colorado primary races:

     "If McInnis eeks out a win..."

Considering some of the strange things that have come out of this year's campaigns, "eek" is certainly an appropriate comment.  But the writer, who is a journalism instructor, probably meant "eke" as in to eke out a living, a meager existence, or even a win.  Finger-fumbles happen to the most conscientious writers.  Too bad no one caught this blunder before it hit the web.

Here's a bonus blooper.  Remember the JetBlue flight attendant who snapped and quit his job by using the plane's emergency exit?  According to the writer of this article:

     "The frustrated employee...deployed the plane's emergency-evacuation shoot and slid down to the tarmac..."

I can almost - almost - forgive turning "eke" into "eek"; stuff happens when fingers start flying across the keyboard at deadline speed.  But "shoot" instead of "chute"?

Is anyone besides the writer even looking at these articles before they're published?

Apparently not.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

I wasn't born a spelling/punctuation/grammar enthusiast.  Even though I developed a love of reading at a very early age, English was my least favorite subject in school.  I hated diagramming sentences and trying to figure out the hidden meanings in classic literature--but I aced my spelling tests.

Then I learned two foreign languages, and how the wrong inflection or spelling can get you in serious trouble with a native speaker.

And I worked in a corporate environment where polished writing and speaking skills were mandatory.

And then...I became a writer.

I can no longer read anything without analyzing it, even when I try to shut off that part of my brain.  Misspellings and misplaced punctuation jump out at me all the time.  And the more society relies upon texts and tweets and info bites, the more mangled our language seems to become...

Thus, a blog is born.

Join me as I expose and explore grammar gaffes and fumbled keystrokes, scrambled words and wayward punctuation marks.  Some are amusing; some are downright pathetic.

Some of them may even be my own.