As kids, we’ve all learned a few words incorrectly because we never heard them said aloud. What were yours? A couple of mine were “fiery,” which for years I mentally pronounced “feery” instead of “fire-ee.” Then there was pico de gallo, which I happily intoned (in my head) as “peekoh duh gallow.” (Obviously, I was not a bilingual kid.)
Another example of those kinds of mistakes happened when my son was three and, walking down the street, he said in his cheery little voice, “Don’t step in the poop dog!” (Hey, it was cute at the time.) And one day you might ask me why I thought Christmas was on December 24 until I was 13.
Pssst! Last week, I talked about how there are no real secrets to writing well, but there are tools and processes that you can follow to make you better at it. I shared some of the tools I use as I edit and write and promised that this week I would give up my secrets about the specific processes I use when I’m writing.
The true secret about writing better is that there really are no secrets. There are just writers who are willing to pass along what works for them. Do a search on Amazon for “writing tips,” for example, and you’ll see more than 20,000 options for books that can teach you how to be a better writer. In other words, anything that used to be top secret about how to write, well, that cat escaped from the proverbial bag long ago.
Yesterday I received an email followed by a text from a former boss asking if I was available to do something for him quickly. Surprised, I shot back a quick, “What do you need?” After all, he knows I do freelance work. But I was already suspicious before I got the fraudulent request to buy seven $100 gift cards. Why? Because the communications were full of errors.
Do you have a Grammar Nazi among your family or friends? If you’re one of mine, you do. Me! I correct a lot of grammar mistakes, although as a freelance editor I typically get paid to do it. And I tactfully ignore the mistakes my friends and family make.