Weird Typos and Other Distractions


Dena Wesley Smith has a post up today about typos.  In this case, it’s what every blogger has probably experienced–someone zooming in to inform us that they caught us in a typo.

You have sinned!  You made a typo!

I don’t know what it is about typos, but they bring out the worst in people.  I suppose if you attach writer to that and suddenly we’re supposed to be perfect with the words.

Hmm.  Tell that to my fingers.  I am constantly making corrections because I am a lousy typist.  My fingers get tangled up and sometimes I have words that are mostly spelled correctly,  but have an extra letter in there.  Particularly as I’ve gotten older (to the point of reading glasses), it’s harder for me to tell if I have too many i’s and l’s, especially if the font is small or condensed.

But then sometimes extra words creep in, and where they’re not supposed to.  I wandered into an existing scene, did a quick spell check (three typos, not too bad), then read it.  Found this:

Hope passed added the flatware to the plate and passed up up, but left the glass behind

Clearly I was thinking it too many directions when I wrote that!

I like checking soon after I write because occasionally I run into one where I have to stop and think about what I was trying to say.  If it’s too long after, I have to strike the sentence entirely because I don’t remember.

Working on Multiple Projects

This week, I was part of an online INTP discussion, which was quite fascinating.  Filing was actually the major part of the discussion, and how hard it is just to put pieces of paper in files.  It’s like details, and I don’t have much tolerance for it.

But, also my natural state, I like hopping between projects.  Sometimes it’s a break, or a way to get a different perspective.  Sometimes I even get bored.  Doesn’t mean the story is getting boring, but that I need a break from it.

At the moment, I’m working on a science fiction novel, a mystery short story, and a fantasy short story.  Both the short stories are set in Morro Bay, California.  I’m thinking of wandering around between them, following the flow of what I want to work on.  I ended up getting hung up on the fantasy for a week because of a combination of getting stuck (let critical brain in and went in the wrong direction) and wanted to get it done.  The result is not as much done as I wanted to. I probably would have figured out the problem if I’d hopped to a different story.  Sometimes I need a little time to process where I need to go next.

Washington DC’s big party: The Inauguration

That’s only a few weeks away now.  We will be shut down close into downtown because all the streets will be closed.  Expect it to be cold.  We were 11 when I went out to my car yesterday.  Probably no better.  But that’s typical weather for this time of the year.  At least things will finally get back to whatever normal is after that.

Only six more weeks until Spring!

Typos Should Not Be Drama Queens


On one of the writing Facebook pages I’m on, a ruckus has erupted—over typos. After a writer corrected another writer for the purpose of “learning,” the moderator stepped in and said to leave the grammar police out. The purpose was to make the place a safe zone.

Of course, that outraged several writers who thought it was their job to inform others of their typos so they would know they made them and supposedly learn not to do it. (They were banned.)

I was surprised at how much that brought back old feelings of frustration over typos. Not at making them. I know I make them.

But at how some people overreact to them.

I don’t have problems when someone flags one and says, “Hey, there’s a typo in paragraph 2.” I’m cool with that.

But I’ve also had a long history of run-ins of people who are very intolerant of typos. It’s like they’re looking to be a drama queen over something unimportant. There’s nothing worse that going over something 4-6 times, running spell check and doing a final check, and that person catches the one typo I missed and yells that I’m sloppy, incompetent … well, you get the idea.

Then there’s the lecturers, which is what prompted the moderator to speak. The lecturers see writer and puff themselves up, officious tone in hand. Obviously, that writer was not smart enough to realize she was making typos and needs someone to explain the error of her ways so she can learn how to not make them.

I had one pop in on the blog. A copy editor published a lecturing comment citing “numerous typos” in one post and sternly admonished that I needed to proofread. I use Dean Wesley Smith’s cycling method on everything I write, so it’s a constant back and forth. Then I spellcheck and proofread. I make a lot of typos, but I catch most of them.  It’s still hard for me to let something go because I want to check it one or two more times for typos and make sure I didn’t miss any, though I know I will miss one.

So when I saw the comment, that old doubt caused by all the Typo Drama Queens popped up. Had I really missed that many? I was envisioning six for some reason.

The “numerous typos” was ONE typo. I’d flipped ‘or’ for ‘of,’ which is a hard one for me to spot.

I used to berate myself when someone else found a typo, wishing I could be better and wondering why I didn’t catch it. But one of my past jobs has largely broken me of that. I’ve seen a lot of paperwork with extremely embarrassing mistakes.

What’s your drama queen typo story?