Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wanted: blog proofreaders

This summer, not a day has gone by that I haven't found a typo or mistake in a blog or on a web page? Most of the blogs I read are written by educators and highly educated people, which seems to make this phenomenon more egregious. Is it that in their rush to publish they neglect to proofread what is being posted? Do blogging sites need to offer a better "spell check" ?

Now, I'm not talking about complex independent clause rules or misuses of a semi-colon, I'm talking about typing "at" for "it" or "its" for "it's", or leaving out entire words. These are mistakes that would drop a student's English 101 grade!

As a teacher who has taught the writing process to hundreds of students, I understand the need to get one's ideas down. But rereading what one has written is ALSO part of the writing process and takes but a minute. This would eliminate many of the typos out there. I realize that proofreading one's own work is hard and we will often read what we "think we said" rather that what is right in front of us, but come on people.

Just out of curiosity, I have looked back at some blog posts to see if authors have gone back and changed mistakes in their posts; I know I do this if I find a mistake. Sadly, none were corrected.

I would like to put out a call to all bloggers and webmasters to proofread before hitting the publish button. And use the "spell check" feature! Mistakes in spelling and forgotten words may alter your meaning or negatively effect the way your post is received.

FYI: Before pressing "publish," I have corrected more than 10 errors in this post.


the reflective teacher said...

As an English teacher, I agree: we need more proofreading before we post.

As a blog writer, though, I'm prone to mistakes. Most of my own grammar and spelling mistakes come from hurriedly typing everything out before I forget it.

I often fix mistakes on the fly -- when I know I've made a mistake, I go back to correct it. Every once in a while I read back through a post and clear up any grammar errors which might complicate a sentence or paragraph. Beyond that, it is what it is.

The real truth: I'm lazy. :)

the reflective teacher said...

SEE! Right there! I should have written: "...typing out everything...' instead of "...typing everything out..."

(I really just wanted to drop a note saying "Thanks for commenting on my post," as well as to welcome you to this teaching blogalopolis. Looking forward to reading about your year.)

Teach42 said...

Ok, I agree with you. I should spell things correctly. I fully acknowledge this.

However, much as I use a different voice and tone for different types of writing, I apply different rules to my blog posts than I do for other types of publications. When I blog, I'm trying to share my thoughts and ideas with my readers. It's casual, it's off the cuff, it's rarely if ever proofread.

I think of my blog posts as a conversation. I may mispronounce a word or throw grammer to the wind, but I'm willing to sacrifice those in an effort to focus my efforts on the content.

I would like to think that if somebody takes the time to let me know that something is mispelled, that I would correct it though. However, I don't have a spell check on my blog engine right now, and it's just not a high priority of mine.

I know it's sloppy, and we can do better, but I believe that there's a time and a place for everything, even mispellings :)

Bud Hunt said...

I hate to be a pain, but I noticed that you've still got a typo -- that last comma in the post, technically, if you're an American and subscribe to American English comma rules, should be inside the quotation marks.

But I'm going to let you off the hook. There's certainly a time and place to be professional and proper -- but it's also likely that we're all going to make a few mistakes. I'm okay with that -- I'd rather read a blog post that I connect with that contains a few misspellings or misplaced commas than to not read the post at all because the author was scared to publish due to spelling or grammar issues.

jetech3 said...

I see your point, Bud, and can go along with your desire to make a connection to the post rather than correct it for errors. However, the errors I have seen interfere with the meaning. When I have to reread a sentence more than twice to discern the meaning -- you've lost me.

Yes, we all make typos and I don't want bloggers to be overly self-conscious. I'm just suggesting a reread before publishing might catch some of these errors.

Perhaps deep down I worry about the dissolution of the English (American English) language with the casualness of email, text messaging, IMing, etc. I have an administrator who sends emails without capitalization and only punctuates if he is writing more than one sentence. To me, this is not very professional.

**I corrected the mistake you mention. It doesn't seem correct to me, but I am not a grammarian and will defer to your knowledge. Thanks for taking the time to write.