Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Word Nerd Fun

I'm that weirdo who makes some people nervous because I am so easily entertained by finding spelling and grammar errors in print. Friends apologize to me mid-text about any mistakes they may make. Facebook friends tag me in pictures and posts featuring editing issues. Former students engage me in conversation about the proper usage of words or grammar. I correspond with my favorite English teacher to further my knowledge of certain points I'm still struggling to understand. My children take pictures as proof of mistakes they detect. Yes, I have passed this geeky trait on to my children.

It's a sickness, people. I'm not going to apologize for it. I'm OCD about spelling and grammar. That being said, I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. When I am uncertain about the usage or spelling of a word, I find a suitable replacement. 

My keyboard skills, especially on my phone, see to it that my writing contains typos, too. And it never fails; when I get a little uppity about glaring errors, karma sees to it that I misspell something soon thereafter, just to keep me humble. Do I laugh at my own mistakes? Yes, I do.

I have an agreement with certain people that they will alert me whenever they spot typos (I'm being generous; sometimes they are just plain, old mistakes) in my blog. Daddy was a good one for historical accuracy, and my daughter has an eagle eye at spotting written errors. I have a friend who is up each morning, even before I am, who is good to find mistakes for me, and she lets me know before too many witness my shortcomings. 
One time, Bridger and I were road-tripping through Colorado when I was reviewing my published blog post of the day while he was driving. 

"BRIDGER! I've made a HORRIBLE mistake. Pull over at the first McDonald's so I can use their wi-fi. I HAVE to fix it." I actually found a couple more mistakes en route. He teased me until we got there. While I furiously corrected my typos, he enjoyed an ice-cold beverage, and my panic attack. Disaster averted, we headed on our way.

Not everyone appreciates my humor. Of course, like-minded people band together, and I have found myself in good company in my writing group who will chuckle with me. We love malapropisms, and glaring mistakes. Okay, some of us even enjoy teeny, tiny, technical mistakes.

I realize we all have gifts in different areas. Maybe you are a math brain who would scoff at the way I arrive at my answers on a word problem. (That has happened on more than one occasion.) Perhaps you're an IT guy who cannot fathom my lack of understanding of how computers work. You may be a history buff who would be floored with how poorly I remember historical facts. My lack of geographical information is laughable. I get it. Not everyone will appreciate why I find some of these things so hilarious, but just in case you do...

Here are some of the things I've found, in print, that I think are side-splittingly hilarious. Indulge me for a moment today...
This is for my favorite English teacher, Ms. Ponton, who despises the use of the phrase "a lot," even when it is spelled correctly. 

Bridger and I sent her this pic from the Charlotte airport, knowing how much this would grate on her nerves. See how much fun we have? My level of word geekiness knows no bounds.

Just really wishing that the plural form of eraser had been used on this one. (Hint: Spelling matters, too!)

See? This is what would happen if I made fun of poor spelling on an eCard. (There's "a RAT" in SEPARATE, people.)

How about, "I have been CHANGED for good?"

My OCD is TINGLING, too.

You can choose the prettiest font available, and this will still be ugly to me BECAUSE the word "because" only has one A in it! I'm not even going to discuss the punctuation in this.

Who's splitting hairs now? I am. Technically, this should read, "Don't you wish your girlfriend WERE grammatically correct like I (am)?" Trust me on this one. It has to do with the subjunctive tense. (Yes, there are entire threads of discussion on the internet about this very eCard for grammar nerds. You can check it out HERE.)

Call your first grade teacher. Ask her for a refresher course on the the correct usage of the words A and AN before a word containing a vowel. 

Can you relate to this one?

I'm thinking even "old school" folks believe in capitalizing I as a subject pronoun, and they would probably agree that it should read, "Share if you ARE proud..." Perhaps the random capitalization is considered "artistic."

I can APPRECIATE that not everyone comes by spelling naturally, but if one were going to take the time to make this nice little graphic, and use a big word like APPRECIATE, one might also do a little proofreading before publishing it.

I would LOVE a dictionary for Christmas, but I'm weird. I think I have just proved that in so many ways. 

By the way, if you find any mistakes in today's blog post, leave me a comment. I told you, any time I have too much fun with this kind of stuff, karma usually bites me on the butt. I would love to fix my editing errors before too many people discover them. (I'll even post your name on Facebook, along with my error. How's that for incentive?) I'm expecting to hear from my kids within the hour.

Happy Hunting! 


  1. LOL! Yeah...I'm the same. I just laugh quietly to myself unless there's a real irony that makes it extra funny.

    1. Janna, I just bet you have an eagle eye, too!

  2. I must visit this board! I wonder how many I just skim and let my mind correct on its own. A couple of these with spelling errors or omitted words were hard for me to see immediately. I love this post! I wonder what lot they are specifically advertising in Charlotte. It must be a neat lot!

    1. Modern usage permits the phrase "a lot." My teacher, bless her heart, is old school. I tend to side with her on everything, except this one thing!

  3. My grandmother came from the same "a lot" and "got" era. I remember her encouraging me to rephrase my comments to find a better alternative for certain "unacceptable" words and terms. Those were the worst offenders. Now, I blame her for my grammatical CDO (albeit imperfect). Some call it OCD, but I prefer CDO because the letters are alphabetized as they should be. ;) As for the meme about taking a woman for granted; I must say, I was quite impressed! Every one I've seen with similar phraseology, uses the misspelling: granit or grannit. *shudder* Oh, that just begs for correction....

    1. I'm guessing the meme to which you were referring was penned by a southerner. I've heard "apperciate" more than once in Virginia.

      Toni, I never understood why the word GOT was so bad, but I just had a sense I should avoid it at all costs. When I met Ms. Ponton in junior high, "a lot" made me nervous; I didn't want to disappoint her. I've since let that go. It's common usage today, and apparently acceptable in modern society.

  4. The one who wrote "beacause" also gave credit for the quote to "Unknow." I wish I could unknow that.

    1. And how embarrassing that I didn't KNOW that. I didn't even notice. This is the difference between a professional editor, and a hobby editor. This is why you get paid money to do it. I stand in awe of your presence. You are so funny.


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