Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Am My Own Worst Enemy

     I'm overselling it just a bit, but in all honestly, I probably am, based simply on the fact that I'm not of enough consequence of anyone else to be considered their enemy.  The alternate theme of this post is "damn you auto correct."  In my case, spell check has gotten to me again.  Moreover, the fact that every single person in the world feels compelled to remind you: spell check doesn't find the errors that are actually words.
     I hate when I make these errors, though I think I may beat myself up about it more than others do.  The one that nearly made me spit-take my coffee this morning was when I noticed my error within a reply.  I had written "...the Mater Planning Schedule."  Spell check didn't correct it, because apparently mater is a word. 


–noun, plural -ters, -tres

1.British Informal . mother1 .
2.the backing holding the movable parts of an astrolabe.
 And for further edification on that:


an astronomical instrument for taking the altitude of the sun or stars and for the solution of other problems in astronomy and navigation: used by Greek astronomers from about 200 b.c. and by Arab astronomers from the Middle Ages until superseded by the sextant.
I was sending a "Master Planning Schedule," not whatever the hell a mater planning schedule would be.  (Also, I admit, I was a bit convinced the dictionary was just going to tell me "short for tomato.")  I felt foolish when I read the reply to my email and saw my error.  I think it was over looked by the recipient, however, and the response was simply a Thank You.  In the grand scheme of things, this one typo didn't really matter; I was just really embarrassed.
     Not as embarrassed as I am when I mistype below as blow, however.  Often, when summarizing something, I begin an email with "Sir, Below is the ..." and then write what the thing is.  But about 9 out of 10 times, I type blow.  It's probably only funny to me, because I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy.  But I think, wouldn't it be funny if I wrote back "Sir, Blow me."  It would funny for about the amount of time it took space to transmit that email from my computer to sir's computer.  And then it would immediately stop being funny.  I imagine there would be yelling, and probably a law suit.  So I stay extra vigilant for that typo.
     Another odd typo I make often is misspelling the word initiative.  When I misspell it in a certain way (often initative- missing the third i), spell check warns me with its red underline.  However, this particular misspelling is not recognized by spell check to resemble initiative; instead it offers me imitative.  I understand why it offers that- it is just one letter off.  But I've almost ruined other peoples ideas by calling them imitative instead of initiatives. 
     There are those, and I tend to be one of them, who find these blatant errors unforgivable.  It's a matter of rereading and proofreading.  As much as most will concede these mistakes can happen, they should happen between you and your computer, lest you be admonished by your readers.  It's not even that people won't understand you, it's that they will see you as simple-minded and careless.  This is the whole basis for my self- loathing and the declaration of being my own worst enemy.  I want to hold myself to that higher standard, but sometimes I've been looking at the same sentence for so long, I see what I think it says reads instead of what it actually does.  It happens on here quite a bit, too.  I get overcome with excitement for the idea, and I don't notice I've left out a word, or added a word for no reason.  It's generally not written so poorly it can't be deciphered, but that's hardly the point.  I would prefer to not have to be deciphered.  So I beat myself up over these mistakes, look up the new word I've discovered via spell check over look, and smugly correct others when I find their mistakes.
      Ooh, I think I just figured out who may consider me their enemy.

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