Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Tragedy of Errors

If only it was this easy...
Image by Salvatore Vuono

I was so disappointed in myself recently.

I was looking over my website and seeing what needed to be updated and what needed to be changed and deciding whether to add anything when I came across a HUGE error.  While that might not be a big deal to some, for someone who edits for a living, having a glaring spelling error splashed across the page is not exactly a great advertisement, y'know?

I thought back on every time I had laughed at a flyer advertising "proffesional proofreading" and winced.  Bad karma, indeed.  I quickly fixed the error, but I wonder how much damage has been done?  How many times has someone considered me for the job, then seen my website and that horrible mistake and laughed at me?  Maybe posted my error on some social network for others to see and laugh at?  Ugh.

I have a couple excuses, of course.  One, I can't work on the website in Google Chrome (my preferred browser).  One of the many excellent features of Google Chrome is that it has a spell-check function.  It helps me catch dumb errors that I make before they go out to the world and embarrass me.  (See how I spelled "embarrass" right?  Yeah, thanks Google Chrome.)  Currently there's a red squiggly line under my misspelling of professional up there.  It's just taunting me.

My second excuse is that it's just really hard to edit your own stuff.  I think that's the worst part.  I would have caught that error in someone else's work.  But because it was my own work (and we all know editors are infallible), I completely missed it.  I didn't check it as carefully as I would have checked something I was being paid to check.  Or even something I was volunteering to check.  I guess that isn't really an excuse.  It's just what happened.

I fixed the error.  I'll have to go through the whole thing again with a fine tooth comb, looking for anything else that might have slipped past me.  Maybe I can pretend someone else wrote it.  Or put my pride aside and ask  someone else to look at it and find errors I've missed.

Oh well.

When have you been "caught with your pants down" (so to speak)?


  1. Oh, I know exactly how you feel.

    It is harder to edit your own work. Totally legitimate excuse:). It's because the work is not just on paper/screen, but in your head--way easier to gloss over something while you're thinking the entire thought. When reading someone else's stuff, you have no idea what's coming next!

    I've found it helpful to save it as a draft, then look at it again hours later. It's really helpful for me to have it on paper, but printing would add up, hence the hours-later ploy;).

  2. I'm sure that's why I found it, too. It had been a little while since I posted it, so it wasn't so "fresh." Still pretty frustrated with myself though!