Use it or Lose It

I’m much more typo-prone than I used to be. Strictly speaking, I’m not only more typo-prone, but more usage-error-prone as well. For example, it used to be that if my fingers typed “it’s” for “its,” I’d auto-correct without even consciously thinking about it. I knew better, but my fingers made a mistake, and my brain reacted quickly enough to the muscle mistake that it told my fingers to correct even before I consciously registered that I had typoed. Lately I find that my brain doesn’t correct as quickly or necessarily even automatically. I’ll review posts after publishing and find typos and spelling errors that I didn’t catch. (I’ve always been a near perfect speller and have had the same auto-correct mechanism for spelling goofs.) Sometimes I never catch them and they have to be pointed out to me. To my credit, this is partially because I’m usually posting in a hurry, and it’s not like I’m publishing in the New York Times here, after all, so who cares? But I do care, not out of any concern for you, my precious three readers, but out of a sense of pride. I’ve always been pleased with my ability to auto-correct, my near-impeccable spelling and grammar. To see it deteriorating (largely through lack of directed exercise) is painful. I’ve been staring at blocks of code for too long, I think. Luckily, in my latest job shift, I find myself doing more writing. I do reasonably well-thought-out blog posts at my other blog several times a week. Here’s hoping that exercising my proofreading muscles a bit more strenuously as I’ve been trying to do will pay off. Do me a favor and keep an eye out for my long slide into incomprehensibility; if I slide very far at all, do let me know, preferably employing good usage and grammar in order to set a good example.

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