Time for a shocking confession. I make mistakes when writing. Good thing you were sitting down, right? I consider myself reasonably competent at spelling but far from infallible. Grammar and I don’t always see eye to to eye. (There’s a ‘Dad joke’ begging for attention here but I’m going to step away quietly…)
Most of my (real, non-blog) work passes by at least one proof reader and editor. And, most of the time, they detect and delete my errors, flawed logic, typos and grammatical anarchy. But not everyone has this back up to make their writing, you know, read good.
That said, (nudging soapbox forward) I’m still dumbstruck by some of the mistakes I find in entries to writing competitions. I’ve just finished judging an annual competition for secondary students and there were some classic bungles this year. Yes I know, they’re students not professional writers. But proof-reading should be a basic skill for anyone beyond Year 9, shouldn’t it? And if you’re going to enter something in a competition (or your teacher is), surely at least a veneer of polish is worthwhile?
Maybe I’m kidding myself.
Anyway, here are a few of the spell check fail highlights from 2012:
‘She couldn’t stop imaging…’ (Imagining, anyone?)
‘Her grandmother spoke of angles and spirits.’ (Did she use a spirit level to measure the angels?)
‘He adorned a pin stripped suite… Other men in suites stood nearby.’ (Sigh. This author was a recidivist and it wrecked a decent yarn.)
‘He leaned over and spoke to the closet person.’ (One little letter, one huge leap for logic.)
‘I couldn’t stop shaking my hand when I was eating breakfast.’ (Pleased to meet you, Mr Typo.)