The Value of Proof Reading -- or Look Before You Send

A few minutes ago I sent out an e-mail announcement about this blog to dozens of family members, friends and acquaintances. Fewer minutes ago I looked at the message in my Sent e-mail folder.  

To my chagrin, I saw the following sentence:  “My plans for this site are to post tips and thoughts about writing several times a month.” I don’t imagine it will be very long before my father replies with an e-mail asking, “Why do you need tips to write several times a month?”  My father is the world champ at pouncing on awkward wording!

The other sentence he’ll pounce on is “Beyond going to visit yourself, I hope….” He will want to know why he’d go to visit himself!

If you are looking at this post as a result of that e-mail, know that if I’d gone for that second cup of coffee before hitting Send, that first sentence would read, “Several times a month I plan to post thoughts and tips about writing.”  The second one would read, “Besides visiting the site yourself, I hope….”

One of my mantras for lifestory writers is, “There is no right way to write.  The only wrong way is not write.” That’s true. And when you are writing lifestories, “Any lifestory you write is better than writing nothing.” That includes those stories that don’t make it past rough notes or unedited drafts.

But when assuming you don’t die before you’re done, your stories, and your e-mails will serve your purpose better if you check for the obvious errors (to be discussed in blogs to come) and the sentences your father could pounce on for their double meanings.

Write on!

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal

3 comments :

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ritergal said...

The deleted comment requested a more legible font. After obliging this request, I removed the comment, not realizing that the tracks of a deleted comment would remain.

Future comments will not be removed unless they are truly offensive, and I'll always explain if I do opt to remove one.

Ritergal said...

The deleted comment requested a more legible font. After obliging this request, I removed the comment, not realizing that the tracks of a deleted comment would remain.

I do value feedback from esteemed readers, and only removed the comment as a housekeeping matter. Perhaps, instead of leaving a request in the comments, you could e-mail them with the little envelope icon just to the right of the Comments link. That way I can reply to your e-mail with a request for further information if needed, or thank you for the help.

Future comments will not be removed unless they are truly offensive, and I'll always explain if I do opt to remove one.