I’ve received some really nice letters this week about Sunday’s column on the death of Barry Butzer … and I really appreciate the feedback and kind words.
But I received an equal amount of criticism for a really poorly structured first sentence that would have given my high school English teacher a heart attack.
I just want to defend myself by saying a few things:
A) I’m human and I make mistakes. I know this is not a great excuse, but it’s valid. In addition to the million other things I do in a week, one of the more enjoyable things is my column. However, I don’t always have a ton of time to do it, and sometimes, going back and reading what I’ve written is done in haste. I tend to make a few mistakes because of that, but for every mistake I miss, I’ve caught about 25 of them (I write fast). So there.
B) I am not mentally slow (as one letter suggested), and I, in fact, did really really well on the English portion of my ACTs in high school. I take pride in being a pretty good grammar-guy, but going back to Point A, I make mistakes (you may even find a few in this post).
C) Being an editor is far, far more than actually editing. There’s writing, designing, meetings, planning, etc. etc. etc. … so as another reader pointed out, “This is all you do, you should do it right,” … well, that’s not necessarily the case. But I appreciated his/her suggestion that I have it easy.
If only I did.
I love my job, but one of the bad things about it is all my mistakes are out there for the public to consume and take pleasure in pointing out. I do it too … my wife and I “ha ha” when the crawl at the bottom of a TV newscast has something wrong. It’s human nature, I suppose.
So, grammar Gods … keep the found mistakes coming. While each letter does steal a little bit of my soul, in the end, it does make me a stronger person. A stronger, more vengeful person.