Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Road from Blogger Novice to ProBlogger Chronicles – Grammar & Spelling woes

Sometimes I think I can be considered the least likely person to be a blogger. Why? Well, let’s see:

  • I’m not much of a reader – When it comes to books, I’m not a reader. I was somehow able to get thru Middle and High school without reading more than a few pages in the beginning, middle and end of any book one of my teachers gave us for some kind of book report. I do enjoy some magazine articles and now find myself enjoy blogs all across the Internet, but even the Harry Potter series was read to me thru an audio book.

  • I’m not much of a writer – If I have written a couple of letters to anyone in my life it’s a lot. I rather make phone calls then write a letter. Ironically you would think emails being so much easier would make a difference but I use emails as often in a week as the average person showers in a week. With the exception of my job which I have no choice in the matter but 98% is work related emails. Oddly enough I like writing my articles and also enjoy commenting on other peoples blogs. Strange isn’t it?

  • My typing skills are funky – I’m a 2 finger writer. I use my Index Fingers for most of my typing and have gotten pretty good at it, but at the same time it has made learning to type properly almost impossible. Not to mention I tend to make mistakes a lot because I write letters in the wrong positions as oppose to misspelling. For example I tend to write “atxes” a lot as oppose to “taxes” on my job emails. Don’t know why but it happens almost every time. Thanks to the spelling feature on Outlook I catch it every time but still. I also have issues with capital letters; because I only use 2 fingers I can’t cover the entire keyboard without moving both hands at the same time so by the time I press the letter i want capitalized I may have already moved the finger that was on the shift button and so the letter fails to be capitalized which I then have to fix later after reviewing. Maybe someday I’ll learn to type properly.

  • My spelling can use some improvement – I am so totally dependent on spell check software in all the websites and software I use. My 2 finger typing doesn’t help either. English was not exactly one of my favorite subjects in school so in all honesty I still have issues spelling certain word just by hearing them. I sometimes have to read the words in my mind the way I see the letters just to remember how to spell certain words. Ironically I am really good at catching spelling errors in other people’s comments and articles. Of course it’s not my business to point these out as I have seen and learned myself that people don’t like to have their spelling errors pointed out.

  • My grammar is barely existent – Like my spelling, my grammar is just as bad if not worse. Punctuation is like Chinese to me. I often struggle to figure out when to use a semi-colon or a comma even though I understand the difference. Or how often to use comma’s in a sentence as oppose to a point and start a new sentence. This is why I am so picky with my articles and although I am not perfect I still try to avoid making grammar mistakes and making my article seem like certain parts don’t make sense when reading it. I have seen this happen a lot on other peoples articles but tend to believe they probably have similar if not worse problems understanding English grammar. It’s actually a bit embarrassing to admit it as I was born and raised in the US and always had good grades in most of my classes with the exception of History which I found boring as a teen but am now more interested in it and am forced to research stuff I should already know.

Although all the points above give me the impression that I might be the weirdest blogger out there, somehow I am able to rise above these “short comings” and create some pretty interesting articles. Articles that make me wonder why I have these short comings at all. The good thing is the more I get involved in blogging, the more articles I write, the more research I do and the more I “measure twice and cut once” the more I improve on these short comings and perhaps someday I can see them as minor issues barely noticeable.
I doubt I will become an avid book reader eventually; I don’t think even a Kindle or Nook can change that; but at least audio books can fill some of that gap and I will have to settle for movie versions of some books which will always lacking compared to the books can still be pretty fulfilling.
That’s why I advise anyone who dedicates a lot of time to blogging and creating great articles to truly take your time reading, re-reading and feeling very comfortable with every article you create before posting. While most people may ignore these “minor errors” it can still take away a little bit of flare from the blog entirely if done too often. People may not voice it out loud but they might use it as a a con when talking about your blog to others. I know because I have been the victim of “grammar and spelling error police” of the blogging world.
So, are you picky about your grammar and spelling? Do you take your time creating and posting articles or do you write and post on the fly? Tell us your stories or success and not so successful postings where grammar and spelling was good or bad.

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