Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Things like this jump out at me ...

Do you see the error from the Web page above? Things like this jump out at me, whether on the Web, on TV, in print ... I can't help it. I've always been like this. I wasn't even looking at this area of the page when my alarm went off and this suddenly seemed to stand out from the rest of the page saying "Hey! This is wrong!"

I've been a professional editor/copywriter for over 30 years, and a QA Manager for over 10. My skills in spotting "wrong" have been honed through these experiences, but this is really something I do naturally. A gift? A curse? I know it can annoy others; sometimes it annoys me, too. A headline ticker scrolls across the page at the bottom of the TV screen and a misspelled word suddenly stands out from the rest. One of my favorite yoga mags is rife with errors: misspellings, verb/noun agreements, misplaced modifiers (oh, those are fun!), unhyphenated compound adjectives, incorrect punctuation.

I think it's genetic. My brothers are both like this, too. We humor one another with our "finds", chuckling at some of the more egregious errors, e-mailing humorous literary lapses, sometimes even toying with the source of the error (the writer) for our own amusement. (I'm not proud of that, but it can be pretty darned funny.)

Recently I spotted errors on two other Web sites and e-mailed the companies. They both thanked me. I've e-mailed Hallmark about their "Tradtional" cards. I wonder how many others have spotted the error?


The Decorated House said...

Hi Rose,
I'm happy that I clicked on your name from your post and now see that you are at a new site. The last one wouldn't let me leave any messages, and I think this one will.

Hope you are having a great day!

HeatherB said...

Not a curse - the world should value accuracy. My observation of the week from a Manager:
"...the price from [company]...was there price including ...."

...now that's a quality roll.

Amber said...

Absolutely understand, having worked in communications for 17 years! You will LOVE this blog!

Rose said...

Amber - that's a fun blog for those us who care about accuracy in the written word. Another fave of mine is Bill Walsh's site: http://theslot.blogspot.com/ Pithy banter about all copy and writing matters.

Britt-Arnhild said...

So tell me.....did you get a tradtional email response from Hallmark :-)

Lynn said...

My Space must give you a headache every time you visit. I'm so sorry, Rose. I assure you, I proofread, that is the scariest part about it all. I missed the forgotten S in guess, who knows (oh, right, Rose knows!) how many misplaced modifiers and dangling whosits I left in my wake. I will try to remember the e-mail from now on though, I promise.
Does it help any that I'm from Kentucky? Joke!

Maureen said...

Those things absolutely jump out at me, and I'm usually a stickler with spelling too. I really do think there's a genetic link.The perfectionist in me often goes back and hastily makes corrections to my own errors, but there are times when I just say ehhh, and let it go. For official stuff, it's nice to see immaculate structure and spelling.

Rose said...

I found the error. Probably a typo but I know what you mean. It's easy to say things published should be proof read and perfect but I can't fault anyone for those mistakes anymore. Who am I to judge? I used to be so good with these things too but illness is stealing my intelligence as well as my memory. Hope you'll forgive my many errors. I do enjoy your visits to my blog!