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Thursday, June 18, 2015

To err is humon: blogs and typos


I contend the gracious maxim, “To err is human,” should always include at least one deliberate typo.

“To err is humon.”

It’d be a handy reminder that even in simple sentences intended to forgive human carelessness mistakes are bound to happen.

My life is full of these handy reminders. Some of them read my blog.

I go to great lengths to ensure my blog is error-free. These prudent safeguards are not enough. Many posts remain rife with sloppy errors.

And I’m always grateful whenever anyone points them out. I invariably thank these people and go straight to the computer to make the fix.

I guess there are writers who become angry when readers point out mistakes in their blogs. They are embarrassed.

I’m not like that at all and have trouble understanding the reaction.

Do they think people expect from them perfection?

That’s hard to believe. I’m pretty sure most people who read blogs do so with the understanding that people like me who blog are in some way defective or else we wouldn’t have enough free time to blog.

So my primary goal is to four or five times a week write something either compelling or funny. People will find that satisfying even during the times when I mistakenly use the same same word twice.

But I aspire to more. I want to give readers a typo-free blog.

So once I’ve done the first draft I usually go for a walk and come back and re-read the damn thing five or six times again with an eye on catching typos, redundancies or flabby wording that takes some of the giddy yap out of the flow.

Then I dash home to post and begin weighing when it’d be a socially acceptable time for me to start boozing.

Ideally, that’s when I’d hear from readers about any errors they detect.

This sometimes happens with Dave, an eagle-eyed reader and avid follower of my blog.

In the interests of descriptive clarity, I should point out this isn’t the Dave who (still for now) owns The Pond, but not a computer. The only time that Dave reads my blog is when I print it out and show it to him, which I’ve done maybe twice in the past year. 

This is the Dave who so enjoys the blog he stops reading it cold turkey every August so he can then for two weeks non-stop binge read it while in his central Illinois tree stand.

I just love that (link below).

More description: This is the eagle-eyed Dave who years ago succumbed to hereditary hair loss and surrendered his thin remainders to a daily shave.

So let’s say he’s bald eagle-eyed Dave.

He said I should have a daily “Find-The-Typo!” contest where the first reader to notify me about a deliberate or careless typo would win a free book.

“It’d be like the cover of Playboy which has tiny Playboy logo hidden somewhere in the picture,” he said.

I find the idea charming for reasons that have nothing to do with cleavage. It’d be like outsourcing tedious editing obligations. But the last thing I need to do is find yet another reason to give my book — the one that on Page 1 says “THIS BOOK IS FREE” — away at no charge.

Plus, Dave would wind up with something like 80 free copies and might just be savvy enough to find a way to make a better profit from them than I ever have.

So, in short, I ask for your friendly understanding.

This is a recreational blog. It’s free. If you see a mistake, I’ll be grateful if you point it out, even more so if you do it without resorting to that sing-song school yard nyah-nyah-nyah taunt that still stings my soul.

To err is endemic to casual blogging.

And if you’re having fun and I’m having fun, really, who gives a puck?



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