Monday, 26 September, 2011

*face palms*

You know I mean you’re, right? It caused me great pain to leave the title like that.

Warning: Vocabulary, spelling and grammar rant. It may be a bit long for some, but it’s under 1,500 words. That’s quite a feat for me.

Caution: Content contains profanity, but is not profanity laden. More than likely you’ve heard worse from teenagers and/or your own children.

May be TL;DR for some. You be the judge.


One of the things that was drilled (dare I say beaten?) into me was the need to be able to spell correctly. My grammar sucks in regards to sentence structure and more often than not, my sentences are rife with dangling participles and conjugations that don’t match. I also change tenses in a sentence. Frequently. However, all those things are things I desperately try to work on. I worship at the altar of Grammar Girl as well as Strunk and White, even when I fall to the wayside, heathen that I am.

I guess this post is coming from the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of books from lesser known publishing houses…and I keep catching spelling mistakes that makes the little Catholic School Girl speller in me just want to commit violent acts of anger. Couple that with the fact that now I doubt my own abilities in being able to spot the glaring discrepancies in my own works. I’ve offered my services to a couple of publishing houses because frankly, THEY NEED HELP. (By the way, no one’s acknowledged those emails. You really should consider it when I offer. I’m a lazy bitch…I only offer help when I mean it and when I think you need it.) When you have editors/copy editors who cannot disseminate differentiate (see? I knew I’d screw something up!) between simple things such as…

  • complement/compliment
  • your/you’re
  • there/their/they’re
  • altar/alter
  • angel/angle
  • losing/loosing
  • separate/seperate (My spell checker here knows this is spelled incorrectly…why not some of editors?)
  • grammar/grammer (Grammar is GRAMMAR. Grammer is Kelsey Grammer and his ex-wife Camille Grammer.)

you are in deep shit. I won’t even go on about the overused/misused/abused apostrophe. That particular subject can be better addressed in another post. The bulleted items above are a small smattering of the spelling mistakes I catch…you should see what I’ve let slide.

Am I truly asking for too much? When I pay for a book, I expect it to be edited properly. I don’t want to have to stop and think about what I’m reading. I don’t know if this makes sense, but I like reading a book. I don’t want to have to stop while I am reading only to go, “Shouldn’t that be you’re not your?” It is jarring and it’s readus interruptus. Some people call me nitpicky, but is it so wrong to want a higher standard of editing when I purchase a book? I am, after all, GIVING you my money on the supposition that the work you are giving me is close to 100% perfect. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve also seen some spelling mistakes from the bigger publishing houses like Penguin, Avon, Harlequin, etc. But on the whole, it is a lot less frequent than the works from the smaller houses.

I was talking to a friend of mine who is also an author. She keeps a blog that you might like. She writes about werewolves, fallen angels, Nephilims…in a good way! I had just tortured myself by finishing a book that was completely rife with terrible editing and fucktastically awful spelling that I had to vent. (That and I had to find refuge in her work that I am currently helping her edit. Rarely do typos and bad grammar make it into her writing.) I felt like it was the last straw for me. In the course of our Skype chat, I vented…big time. She pointed out something to me that had never occurred to me before – a lot of those shitty editors/copy editors are usually failed writers. i.e. They can’t spell or make a cohesive storyline and their missives are usually one big ass cluster fuck. Is that really true? I pondered that. I’m still pondering it.

Another friend of mine said that the attitude of editing (while writing) is a bit lame. He said he’s encountered some authors who deliberately DO NOT edit their work citing, “That’s what the editors are for.” How can one not polish your work to make it shine? When I was going through my college classes the amount of editing I was doing for my papers was astounding. So much so that I vowed then and there I never wanted to ever write for a living. It felt like homework that would just never go away.

On the other hand, maybe I need to lay off the smut reading and resume my more scholarly and somewhat academic reads. In addition to smut, I do love biographies, autobiographies and historical books. I like reading. Period. The only stuff I can’t get into is that extreme love where it’s more than a threesome. At that point, I just think it’s a porn script waiting to be directed…or yet another trashy reality tv show.

Back to the original point of this post…is it so wrong to want people to be able to spell correctly? It’s one thing to type quickly and miss a typo – which is what will probably happen here in this particular post. Talk about irony! However, I have no one editing my work, just me. It’s hard editing your own work when you’ve been staring at it for an indefinite period of time.

When you pay for a book, no matter what the price, don’t you think editing should really be an important factor?

PS Just for a laugh, a while back I was waiting in line and (if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve already heard this before) I heard two guys talking about a girl they knew. One guy said, “I just love that girl. She is self-defecating.” I choked back a laugh but I’m pretty sure they heard me really trying hard not to. The guy’s friend actually was laughing and it was a few moments before he could catch his breath and say, “I think you mean deprecating.” Ah…I really wish I had been able to video that. I still smile when I think of it.

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