Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Typo Terror

As many of you know, Pantster and I are in the process of getting some requested work ready to submit.  We were talking last night about how difficult it can be to find typographical errors in work after you have looked the same words for months.

It is often even tougher to find missing words.  I think when our brains read they just fill in any missing words so that the sentence makes sense.  This is probably the one error that we have the most trouble with.  I think like many writers we know what we are saying so we don't notice the missing words.

I think that spell and grammar check have also contributed to make us somewhat more complacent than we once were.  I know that I  personally watch for that red squiggly line to help me spell or find words that are misspelled.  It is very helpful but not so much when I have chosen the wrong word.  The word plains, for example.  If  I am talking about a man's face the word should be planes of his face.  Of course, I guess if he was not handsome that it could be the plains of his face but generally speaking that is not the case.

What is your best tip or strategy for discovering typographical errors?


  1. This is so true, Stephanie. I'm very careful as I read what I'm writing. For me, I can't move on if I think a word is wrong. That may be silly, but that's how my brain, or Internal Editor, works.

    When I was growing up and I needed to know how to spell a word, or know a definition of a word, my mother and grandmother would make me look it up in a dictionary before I moved on. I guess that's where this comes from. The good thing about that lesson is I'm never afraid or lazy about researching or double-checking anything I write. For me, it's an automatic response. Whether that's good or bad remains to be seen but it's a gimmick that works for me. LOL!

    Wishing you the greatest success with your submission, Stephanie and Jean!

  2. I have found that turning off the grammar and spell checks will force me to examine my work more closely. I also read my work aloud. It's amazing how many goofs rear their ugly heads while reading aloud. Also, like Kathy, I keep my dictionary at the ready. Sometimes I'm surprised at the number of times I refer to it.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and Jean as you submit!

  3. Kathy, you have a good point about not moving on if a word feels wrong. I should have said that I keep a dictionary right beside my desk and the old 20,000 words. Remember it from the days of typing? It tells how to spell words and divide them into syllables. I am a TERRIBLE speller so it is very helpful to me.

    Crystal, I like the read aloud tip. That would probably help a lot with the missing words problem!

    Thanks for y'alls good wishes!

  4. I know you'll be glad to know that reading in a different font does help. I long for the day when we have a editor who knows we're not stupid--that we know the difference in to and too, their and there, and, yes plain and plane. That was me. All me.