Friday 13 August 2010

Sorry, but I am NOT perfect.

It seems that being an English Language Teaching professional means that I should know EVERYTHING there is to know about the English language, and that I should NEVER make errors. People don't give me the right to make spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes. If I do, apparently I'm not good at my job.
If my mind plays tricks on me one early morning; one early morning when I'm exhausted and can't function properly without squinting my eyes to see the screen clearly, and I type their, instead of they're in an email, I suddently get sarcastic replies such as 'What kind of editor are you?'
Some people even feel the need to spot errors of mine out in meaningless correspondence, such as, "Oh, by the way, there's a grammar error in the first line." Hello? It's an email, it's not a grammar book! Do I need to concentrate on making my texts perfect 24 hours a freakin day, when I spend at least ten of them making sure the IMPORTANT stuff is perfect? You know, like the stuff I get PAID for? Seriously, people, give me a BREAK!
And yes, I do have to look up words in the dictionary sometimes. Sometimes even just to make sure what I think is the correct definition actually is and I'm not recalling the definition I made up as a child. Or sometimes I need to jog my memory, sometimes I want to be certain that I've used the correct part of speech, or that I haven't missed any derivatives, or that I haven't got the idiom mixed up with another one.
I'm NOT a walking dictionary, and I definitely do NOT carry around all the information I write and edit in my head 24 hours a day and seven days a week. I bring certain things to the forefront of my mind when they are NEEDED, othewise I'd go nuts. Nuts! And you know, sometimes I like to FORGET there are rules and spell something wrong for the sake of it. Just to stick my tongue out at these 'people' and say "Na na na na na, Im not ashaimed two maik speling misticks wen Im not werking." OKAY?

Thanks. *And here is where I bow* :o)


  1. Loved the post Jessica, that makes two of us not being perfect.


  2. I think you misused a semicolon there...sorry, couldn't resist!

  3. This is intentionally flame bait right? : j

    Sure typos can happen, and an odd typo here and there in a private context matters not at all- that said, I for one strive for perfection in everything I write(and always fail, but that's besides the point); regardless of whether or not I'm on the clock.

    Granted no one likes a smart ass... Correcting typos in email is indeed excessive; but I appreciate people who point out typos in my posts, especially since I realise how time consuming it can be. I also like it when people actually try to find flaws and then we can discuss/dissect the supposed flaw, and find out if they are right or not.

    As far as I've seen, you may not be ashamed to make a typo now and then, but you do try to write your best.

  4. You're right, Ted. It should be a comma ;o)

  5. It is all about the image that people have about you- they know you are really good at spotting grammatical mistakes so take a perverse pleasure in pointing yours out- not realising it is actually work.
    Have you tried telling them you don't think it is funny? Hang on a moment- that is exactly what this post is about, isn't it?

    And if you were perfect, would you be as loveable?

  6. Way to speak your mind!!!! When many people hear I'm a writer they expect me to know the in's and out's of grammar, punctuation, spelling and I don't know a lot of it. I haven't been in school for several years and over time I've lost the amazing grade I even had in English.

    Just because you edit all day, you write all day, or you read all day doesn't mean you always have to be on point... people should think before they speak shouldn't they?

  7. You have several typos in this post Jess, what kind of editor are you?

    Just kidding!

    Today's guest blogger is Ted Cross!

  8. Oh geesh! Everyone makes mistakes, so if someone wants to point out every little error, send them my way and I'll punch them in the ear.

  9. Places I'm careful about my grammar: editing other people's books, editing my books, queries, contest entries...

    Places I'm NOT careful about my grammar: emails, blog posts, msn, facebook, tweets, blog comments...

    I will often see the mistake as I'm writing them but I'm often too lazy to correct them. Don't feel bad, as long as you don't make mistake when it comes to your editing work, I'm sure the people out there will overlook blog posts.


  10. Do you feel better now? ;-) I think it all has to do with the audience and the purpose of the message. If it's an email or FB comment or tweet between friends, puh-lease. Let it go. But if you're on a chat with agents and editors or readers, you better be on top of your game if you want to be taken seriously. I've seen many, many guest posts and interviews by authors lately, surrounding their new releases, and they're littered with horrible grammar and spelling mistakes. One or two I chalk up to "oops." But more than that, to me it's either laziness in proofreading or poor writing skills. Many mistakes are distracting and all I can think is, "You really want me to read your book if you write like that???" Yes, we all want and need a break. Be that way with friends, family and people who don't care and situations that don't matter. But not when you're trying to make a professional impression (which I think applies to blogs because you never know when an agent or editor is going to pop in).

  11. Imperfection is so refreshing! Keep up the good work. (Was that correct? Never mind. I don't really care.)
    Happy to have youMary in our world.

  12. hi miss jessica! for me im real happy youre not perfect cause then youd be soooo boring. ha ha. it feels like youre a little mad. im glad you could share out how you feel with us guys who love you.
    ...hugs from lenny

  13. Did somebody get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?? :)

  14. I feel a little disillusioned right now.

  15. You have my permission to make typos.

  16. I was almost an english teacher, I taught history and government instead. BUT I was always nervous writing any kind of letters to my old english teachers after I left school, like they'd sit there with my letter in their hand with a red pen.

  17. This made me want to recount all the notoriously bad spellers that are some of our greatest writers, but damn if I can remember a one. Margaret Atwood, I think. And she's a GENIUS (I mean, intellectually).

    PS I love the flourish of the bow at the end. *Applause*


  18. AlliAllo ~
    You're NOT perfect?
    I thought you were.

    Well... I'm afraid I'll have to stop "Following" your blog then. I can't be seen interacting with flawed people. I'm sorry. But, after all, I do have my reputation to consider.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

  19. Funny stuff!

    Spelling has never been a problem for me, but I do come across words all the time that I don't know. And when I find one, I HAVE to know the meaning of it, and soon.

  20. THAT's why you have the 1500 words/6hrs thingy?

    Hmmm...ah-som! ;)

    Feel free to make mistakes in my presence...Im bout as guud as a forth graadr.

  21. Sounds like you need a hug, Jessica, so I'm sending one. That annoys me so much, when people can't step back and THINK... Those don't sound bad at all, really. On the spot errors or having to look something up are understandable. I have a Dutch friend whose teacher insisted some words could be contracted that CAN'T (she kept taking points from him and she was WRONG)--she figured because words with similar meanings (like COULD NOT) could be contracted that synonyms could too, and some she insisted on were SILLY, though my memory is failing me now.

  22. I always feel self-conscious writing to certain people. I'm afraid they're noticing all the things wrong with my note and 'grading' me.

  23. Reminder - Guess that character blogfest this Thursday and Friday! Look forward to seeing what you post!


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris