EDITOR’S COLUMN | One grizzly mistake

As a newspaper editor, I’m infallible when it comes too literary errors. Misspellings, rogue comas, incomplete sentences — these are the headaches of lesser writers, not accomplished wordsmiths like myself. Apparently there are some who are unaware of my perfection, however. This past weekend, several people had the moxie to claim that their are in fact words that sound the same yet have different spellings and meanings. Psh, I have no idea what they we’re referring too, homonyms or homographs or something (I stopped listening), but they went on to say that I had made just such an error, a rather grizzly one in fact.

As a newspaper editor, I’m infallible when it comes too literary errors. Misspellings, rogue comas, incomplete sentences — these are the headaches of lesser writers, not accomplished wordsmiths like myself.

Apparently there are some who are unaware of my perfection, however. This past weekend, several people had the moxie to claim that their are in fact words that sound the same yet have different spellings and meanings. Psh, I have no idea what they we’re referring too, homonyms or homographs or something (I stopped listening), but they went on to say that I had made just such an error, a rather grizzly one in fact.

Oh, the pour and misinformed. I could only chuckle. As if the mighty English language contained such complexities. And like I wouldn’t no.

Admittedly, I did make a mistake once, though it was long ago. I had just applied for my first journalism job and was being interviewed buy the editor when she pointed out I had spelled her name wrong on my cover letter. The humiliation was unspeakable; I’ll never forget feeling the blood rush to my face and the sinking realization that my career had ended before it even began. And it was all my mom’s fault!

Having had journalism professors time and again pound into my head the importance of spelling names correctly, I astutely noted on the help wanted add that her first name was spelled Lesa, not the more common Lisa. That being so, I was extra careful to get it right. And to insure everything else was in order, I asked my mother to proof my cover letter and resume.

She’s a molecular oncologist, and easily one of the smartest people I know, so being inexperienced I didn’t bother two look over her edits before submitting my application. Unfortunately, she had also noted the unusual spelling and made the edit, but of course I didn’t realize that until the interview and by that point it was too late. What was I going to do, blame it on my mother?

No, the mistake was ultimately mine so I eight a big slice of humble pie and moved on, confident that such errors whir behind me and that I would never again feel the sting of humiliation. That’s why my supposed grizzly mistake is so laughable. I’m of the literary elite, and that knowledge made it easy to lift my nose to all those who feigned superiority by pointing out my claimed fowl, from the writing coach who sent a nasty email about how the paper had discovered a new breed of grizzly dog and questioned whether anyone actually reads the paper before it goes to press — for the record, our policy is to write all stories with our eyes closed — to the guy who pointed out that he’s just a machinist but still knew the difference between grisly and grizzly.

Oh well, perhaps I am capable of mistakes after all. Who new? From the mortified and comical crew at the Record, a group that doesn’t know that to and too don’t equal two, that the poor don’t pour, and of course that bears and dogs are not the same species, thanks for your continued patience and trussed.

 

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