Mistakes Were Made
June 22, 2005

So, I had a whole huge entry written to follow up the Disney World/Smile entry, but I hate it. It's just not ready to be continued just yet, I guess, and I'd rather wait to post it until the piece is ready instead of just rambling on and reminiscing without much point.

Instead, I want to say something about my entries in general. I periodically go back and review them and look at my style and what I've already said (don't want to get too repetitious and boring) and I've noticed some typos. I thought about going back and fixing them. In fact, I'm sure that I've already fixed a couple of small things from early posts. But I'm not going to do that anymore. Why?

Well, I do try to proof each piece pretty well before I hit publish, but I don't go through them with a really fine-tooth comb, either. So most of the glaring issues ought to be taken care of before a piece ever goes live. But the major reason for not correcting errors after the fact is to help dispel the myth that English teachers are somehow always grammatically correct and perfect. I mean, really. We all know some English teacher somewhere in our past who tried very hard to give that impression. And as kids in that class, we all tried to catch that teacher in an error. Maybe we did; maybe we didn't. But you know what? English teachers are just people, too. No matter what Calvin may say, we don't sleep in coffins during the summer and we do make mistakes.

In fact, when I was teaching, some students would be afraid to speak for fear of making a mistake. I also tried hard not to say what I taught "out in the real world" because people would inevitably get tongue-tied, afraid to make a grammatical mistake or mispronounce something. I've gotten into the habit of making sure I say "ain't" or something soon after people find out that I taught writing for nine years. It relaxes them without me being super-obvious about it.

On this blog, I think it's pretty obvious from my writing style that I'm more laid back about grammar and such than Mrs. GrammarNazi from fourth grade, or even Miss Manners. And I think it's also pretty obvious that I'm not one of those people who thinks that the internets are destroying the way we write or corrupting language in general. In fact, I'm all for the use of abbreviations like rotflmao and emoticons in email (used sparingly, of course). After all, if you're teasing a buddy who's sitting next to you, he can read your body language and tell you're kidding. But if you're teasing a friend via email (or the internets), she can't tell that you're teasing just from the flat words. But a quick j/k or :) can get that intent across a lot faster.

I guess I'm just saying that you always have to think of your audience when you're writing, and this blog oughta be for everybody; it ain't for stuffy English teachers. (But the rest of the English teachers might find it interesting.)

TTYL, Gentle Reader,
Red Monkey

Posted by Red Monkey at June 22, 2005 10:38 AM | Blog | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

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