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Weirding people out since 2006.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Nitpicks Nitwits (Did I Spell that Right?)

Don't get me wrong, I've been known to throw a book across the room because it was so riddled with spelling and grammatical errors that I wanted to sue the publisher (this company, by the way, is still in business as far as I know, however, I refuse to purchase, or even check out of the library, anything with their name on it) for wasting my time with such garbage. I've also been known to physically cringe when I've seen a misplaced comma or (more often) a misused apostrophe in an advertisement.

But these are things that are supposed to be proofread and copyedited by something more than a standard spell check. In other words, professionally presented work, checked and re-checked by professionals. From writer to editor to proofreader back to writer and editor to printer to editor and probably somewhere along the lines, the proofreader again. An entire series of professionals to check check check and check spelling and grammatical errors until it's at least 99.99% perfect. I'll accept the fact that something, somewhere will slip through the cracks, but if it's on every page, or even in every chapter, that book is done and cursed (and, more than likely the publishers should be held at least responsible for that portion of my rent deposit that I lost for chucking said book and denting the wall).

Neither forum nor blog comments should be held up to this same standard. So why is it, every damn time I read a blog about writing there's some nitpicky "pitchfork wielder" out for blood because this word or another spelled wrong? Usually, it's not even a word that a spell checker could catch because it has something to do with a word, like "principal" instead of "principle", that spell check sees as ok.

And whoa be to the one who, for some reason or other is severely spelling disabled (usually with good reason, such as dyslexia) because an entire chatroom of folks will gang up on this person (I've seen it happen) as if he or she is an idiot whose opinion matters nothing. This behavior is simply vile...like a pack of wolves pouncing on unwary prey the group attacks leaving nothing but blood.

But, unlike the wolf, the pack isn't hungry just mean, vicious, and stupid. Yeah, stupid, because by following the pack mind and wielding those danged pitchforks until the "misspelling monster" ran out of town they never learned that despite this person's inability to spell that he can fix just about anything, and he's one of the few, who, to this day, will pull over to the side of the road to help a stranger.

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