Pet peeve: Typos and grammatical errors
I shake my head and roll my eyes when I spot mistakes in articles or podcasts and I try so hard not to make them myself.
The fact is, I do make mistakes when I write and talk (can I use the excuse that English is my second language?). So why do I cringe when I hear things like, ‘a whole ‘nother level’ (it’s Another) or when someone uses the word ‘is’ when it should be ‘are’ because the subject is plural.
I’m not an expert. There are people who write entire books on the correct use of punctuation and grammar. They would put me to shame. Perhaps the fact that I expect perfection of myself, means I expect it of others.
And it’s fair enough to roll your eyes when a magazine, book or newspaper has a typo (that’s what editors are for). And technically, I shouldn’t be starting my sentence with an ‘and’ but we’re all used to it these days because we often write in the same way we would speak.
So I need to get off my high horse and set it free into the wild. Perhaps the only way to dilute my annoyance when I spot errors in future is to be kinder to myself first? I don’t want to let myself off the hook from writing and speaking to the best of my ability but, it’s silly to think that I’ll never make a mistake. Because I have, I do and I will.
Proofread your work.
Go to sleep. Wake up and proofread it the next day.
Ask a someone else to proofread it for you.
Read it out loud one more time.
Doing the above will minimise the risk of any errors. But say your article gets published and you find a mistake after the fact. It doesn’t mean you’re a horrible writer and you must never write again. What’s so bad about accepting it and trying again?
When you’ve done everything in your power to make sure your work is free of errors, you can’t say you’ll try harder next time. Because you already tried your hardest. Maybe we just need to get better at swallowing our mistakes and moving forward.