We’re all guilty of it. I anticipate doing it as I’m writing this post, and catching it shortly after I publish.
We make mistakes in our writing, be they typos or simply grammatical kerfuffles that we overlook because our brain is mush, bashing out words without taking care to ensure they all fit harmoniously together. Sometimes it’s because we’re in a rush, other times because we just didn’t know any better, and usually because we’ve been reading and re-reading the same passage over and over and over again that we’re just skimming things now.
People have written about how you should always proofread, always, always, always. Go ahead, type “should I proofread” into Google and see how many articles you pull up. A lot of them will tell you never make a mistake. Polished pieces of writing don’t go out with mistakes. Of course, that’s not true, sometimes they do. The really honest articles will tell you to just try not to make a mistake. Proofread your work several times and then have a few friends proofread it too. I always grab my sister for my editing needs, she’s a proud grammar Nazi.
As writers, we should strive for our writing to be as polished and perfect as possible before sending it out the door. We tout ourselves as professionals at this, so everything we write should be par excellence. Right?
But sometimes, we don’t have the time or it just isn’t logical to proofread something we’ve written that many times. I will admit it, I have sent out Tweets on Twitter that were garbled messes it’s a wonder readers were able to begin understanding my meaning (but they do!). I mostly blame my “smart” phone and it’s oh-so-awesome autocorrecting technology (yes, that sarcasm is dripping). Ultimately, we’re only human.
So what is the solution? Does it matter all that much that the blog post I hammered out between homework assignments in an effort to remind the digital abyss I still exist is littered with typos that should’ve been caught my third draft were it a manuscript? Is it hurting my reputation as a storyteller that I tweeted “twat” instead of “twit”?
Oh well, it’s what editors are for. There are a lot of other things in my writing that people will have problems with outside of that silly typo that slid right by.