Saturday, July 28, 2007


The other day I was talking to my mom on the phone and she said she was reading the New Harry Potter Book.

I asked how it was.

"It's good, you know. But Rowling can't write well."


"She's got these sentences that are just horrible."

So, you don't like it?

"No. She's very imaginative and she's got a great story so it really moves along. She's just not a very good writer."


"Or maybe it's the editor's fault."


Which got me thinking about my own transgressions in writing, many of which readers of this blog have witnessed.

As I look back at my writing here, I have to say I'm certainly glad I've done it, but I'm also appalled at some of my mistakes. And while I don't want to blame blogging for the state of my poor grammar and spelling, I must say, what happens here seems to be happening elsewhere and I don't like it.

In fact, the other day I wrote a note to my wife that went something like, "Please be they're."


She said she'd noticed this switching of "they're" and "there" a lot lately.

A recent post found mispellings of "commission" and dropped helping verbs and many double letters and plenty of dropped "d"s from "and" and lots of "it's" for "its" and vice versa.

Is it the blog form? Is it writing too fast? Being too quick to put a first draft down?

Does it even matter?

I see errors in other people's posts and wonder if it has any effect on the reader's willingness to keep reading. Depending on the blogger, the tenor of the post and the logic of the post, I don't let it change my own reading habits, but still.

Which is why I occasionally return to posts and correct them where I see they're poor written.

If only I could do that with some of my comments.

Of course, I could fire my editor. But he's already got enough problems finding work.


Fred Wickham said...

I know in my heart grammar and spelling slips have little to do with good writing. But I do let it bother me. I think it's because I'm afraid of being judged even though...(return to tp)

Fred Wickham said...

By the way, the misspelling of "top" in the previous comment was an honest typo which I noticed only after it was posted. And I said aloud, "Jesus Christ that was dumb."

Malachy Walsh said...

I had an honest typo in my post as well - "...where I see they're poor written."

I wish I could say it was on purpose - in fact, I sought to avoid such a mistake, thinking it too trite a joke to foist on everyone.

But it happened anyway.

Tony said...

I thought it was on purpose, an ironical.

I was never a great speller, but I know that the advent of spell checking somehow seems to make that flaw even worse. I might just be that that I rely too much on the machine to be vigilant for me.