Were it not for Word and my lovely editor, you would all know that I can’t spell. Neither can I grammar nor punctuate. You have no idea how I fret over the previous sentence. You also have no idea if it’s the sentence I wrote, ‘cuz editor. I tried two free grammar-checking websites before I gave to the Mrs., but I still worry. Now, according to Ellen, I have even more to worry about.
Not more things, but more tasks at which I can fail.
According to a tidbit contained in Ellen’s latest post.
Note: There’s nothing going on between Ellen and me. I know, I tend to mention her often, but it’s just an interesting coincidence. See the thing is that I tend to read Ellen’s blog just before the #SoCS prompt is released, when the SoCS prompt is released early. I like to read a few blogs at lunch, and when Linda publishes the #SoCS prompt around that same time, the gears start turning and the voices in my head start yapping, and it’s all downhill from there.
Anyway, according to Ellen’s blog, punctuation is a whole ‘nother thing from grammar.
You know, it was bad enough when I was bad at spelling and grammar, but at least I was only bad at two things. I mean, I’m good at math. I math real well. And, I’m good at science. Now I have to add “and I’m good at computer stuff” to offset this new breakout category of punctuation as a third domain where I often fail. It’s OK, my editor punctuates well, and she usually catches most of my errors. If she misses one, David will let me know.
I think David likes catching an error that the Mrs. misses even more than he delights in finding my errors. My errors are only worth one point. Catching the editor in an error must be worth 10 points. Catching Ellen in an error – she used to be a copy editor – is worth 25 points. If there are any errors in this post, you can be sure those two will point them out.
Now I’m worried that the stress will be too much for my editor. She might abandon me to my own devices on this one.
Since I math well, I’m trying to apply set theory to this trifecta of error I find myself in.
I’m guessing I lost a few readers. I know, it’s Saturday. Some of you read this with your first cup of coffee. Some of you don’t like math. I’m not naming names, Joey, Mary, but I know you’re out there.
So, we have three sets: Spelling, Grammar, and now, Punctuation. The Union of these sets, that is the stuff that falls into any of them, would be the English-language-challenged writer that is Dan. It’s the Intersection of these sets that is giving me trouble. For example:
“…his interest was peaked when…”
That’s a mistake I actually made in a long-ago post. The proper word is ‘piqued’. My editor might have known that, but sometimes I edit my post after she gives it the ‘all clear’ signal. The question is, is that a grammatical error or a spelling error? I would guess, which is pretty much what I’m always doing with these three things, that word-choice falls under grammar. Peaked vs. piqued = grammar. Picued vs. piqued = spelling. Picue vs. peak = the intersection of grammar and spelling, i.e. it falls into both sets.
I hear the complaints. I’ll stop.
Before leaving, I want to point out two classes of errors with which I should not be charged: One is typing induced errors. For example, earlier I typed “thrid” instead of “third.” That’s bad, and Word caught that one. I often type “form” instead of “from.” Word misses that but the Mrs. doesn’t.
The second case is technology induced errors. When I wrote “the Mrs. misses…” Word capitalized the ‘m’ in misses. I won’t even talk about the horrible things my cell phone does.
I’m curious as to whether I could make an error that is in the intersection of grammar, spelling AND punctuation. I’ll let you know if I find one.
Ooooh, I got one: He said, “I just wanted to look in thier”, as he peeked into the room.
“Thier” vs. “their” = spelling
“Their” vs. there = grammar
Comma outside the quote = punctuation
I could make those mistakes, easy peasy.
This post has been part of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday challenge. And, I think I have some bonus points coming.
“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “spell.” Use the word “spell” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use it in the first sentence. Enjoy!”