Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grammar Detective By Kristen Harris

We all see them. They pop up in the most unexpected places, and when you find one your eyes become attached to it. You try to make sense of it; you even second guess your judgment, if only for a second. They are spelling errors. More specifically, they are spelling errors found in published works that have been reviewed and edited by professional writers and editors. Somehow they have avoided detection and are now resting comfortably in your recently purchased magazine, novel or scientific journal. An overview of the effects of spelling mistakes can be found here.

As Professional Writing students we learn to edit our work carefully so it is free of errors. However, it seems even with the careful reviewing done by ourselves and our peers, when we receive our papers back there are bound to be a few errors that we missed. This is not unusual, as we are first year students. Browsing our blog, I’ve found many errors in our posts. The first one I found was by Jessica Lloyd – sorry Jessica, I’m not trying to single you out- in herWebquest Exercise. She uses single quotation marks to emphasize the word grammar. This is incorrect because the only place you can use these marks is to quote something inside a quote.

Recently I was researching Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood for an essay, and I came across three books that spelled the main characters names incorrectly. I became irritated that these books, that I was using as an authority on the subject, could misspell the names so easily. I have since lost the titles of these books, but I did take photographs, which are above. I believe it is important for writers to strive to use correct English in everything they write. My writing has been riddled with errors in the past, but I am learning. I hope this class blog will enable me and my fellow classmates to recognize these errors in our own work and others before they become published!

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