There are usually two types of people when it comes to education. People who are math and science lovers and people who are English and literature lovers. In college I decided to major in Theatre until I realized there was no career in Theatre and that I needed a real profession, but one that I could be passionate about. I wanted to write. I thought journalism would be a good profession. I transferred from the junior college I was attending down in Safford AZ up to NAU to pursue a journalism career. I wanted to be a reporter and eventually anchor in a top market somewhere in a coastal city.
Life happens and sometimes even if you get your degree and work in the field of your choice, it takes you in directions you least expect it to. You meet the love of your life, have children and settle down and become a work at home mother.
What does this all have to do with the “30 days of Real” you ask? It’s about grammar and spelling and my inherent need to tell a person their mistakes, when I should just leave well enough alone.
Day 9 of 30 Days of Real:
Blatant spelling and grammar mistakes are like that talking Tide stain commercial.
In Journalism school, writing is very important. It’s almost like taking English language classes all over again and the style of writing is very different from how you wrote in high school. With all that in my brain, when I see a blatant error, I assume one of two things. They have no idea how to write, or they are on a device (like I am most of the time) and its a typo. However if I see the same person make the same blatant spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes over and over again. I get annoyed. Extremely annoyed!
Also writing in AP is different from, say… writing a term paper. There is a different use of commas. I’ve often been told I use too many commas. But in journalism, we are taught that the comma is necessary.
With me, its like that talking Tide stain commercial, where the guy is in an interview for a job he wants, but he has a stain on his shirt, and all the interviewer can focus on is the stain. He hears and sees nothing else but this guy’s stain. That’s what its like for me. All I see is the error, not what is being said.
What I’ve learned though, is that with as annoying as it is to see the errors or typos, it’s equally annoying to be belittled over something you just aren’t good at.
For the longest time I would get so annoyed at seeing my mother in law’s status updates on Facebook, just to see all the spelling and punctuation errors. I would correct her. I stopped doing that a few years ago because I realized I’m not helping her in any way. All I’m doing is coming across as “a know it all” and it looks like I’m belittling her. I’m not grading a paper, looking at a resume, reading something that needs to be proofread. It’s simply a status update from a little old lady who still hunts and pecks at the keys on her keyboard.
It would be like if someone continued to point out a weakness of mine when it comes to math. Unless it’s an even number, I’m always the lady that breaks out my cell phone with the tip calculator to make sure I leave the correct tip. I can’t do stuff like that in my head and if anyone pointed it out, I’d be embarrassed. So there I was, pointing out a little old retired lady’s spelling errors when I should just take joy in the fact that she left me a message or a positive comment.
So this “day 9 of 30 days of real”, is not only one of those quirky things about me that I hate, it’s also an apology to anyone I’ve offended.
It’s just like the talking Tide Stain to me….my apologies. And I don’t mean to sound like “a know it all”, because I’m not. And I’m certain that even though I proofread this post, it still has errors in it my eye couldn’t pick up.
This is a lesson for me to look more at the human side of people.
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