Questions for you to answer in your own time over your favourite cuppa.

Here are the questions du jour:

Can you find the the mistake in this lineup A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z?

You should never ask me questions about grammar. Such questions force me to unleash the editorial goblins.

First of all, there’s an extra “the” in the sentence, though given my hopeless inability to proofread, it’s the kind of mistake I make all the time. But you also need a colon after the word “lineup.” The list of letters doesn’t need all those commas; a simple space would be fine. If you are going to use commas, you need a space after each comma. The question mark is fine right where it is.

I try to keep editing goblins behind locked door. When the goblins get loose, I go into critical grammar mode and annoy everybody. In case you were wondering, editing and proofreading are not the same function and represent different skill sets. I’m a great editor but a terrible proofreader. If anyone cares (I’m sure you don’t), I’ll explain the difference.

What old-fashioned way of doing things is better than how they are currently done?

As a start, how about making items that can be repaired rather than trashed? If no one has noticed, the world has run out of “trash space.” Growing up, I somehow assumed there was — somewhere on earth — a giant, bottomless pit into which all the trash would go. Clearly I was mistaken.

There’s no bottomless pit, nor sufficient landfills or even recycling plants. Humans have far too much junk. Since we began making everything “disposable,” the amount of trash we have is beyond excessive. It’s also destroying our earth.

Making items — from cars to toasters — repairable would be a good beginning to changing what’s wrong with the world.

Are we consuming too much information and data and is the modern world bad for us?

Yes. But no one is forcing you or anyone to spend your days and nights on an insane social media site. That’s a choice you make. It’s not a mandate.

You can turn off the distractions. Don’t spend days on Facebook. Ignore Twitter nonsense Whatever the platform, seek honesty backed by research. Find intelligence, knowledge, and sincerity. Find people who are honest, smart and funny. This isn’t up to your government. This one is up to each of us to make sensible choices.

If global warming continues, what will happen in the future?

I don’t know. I’m sure skiing won’t be as popular. As for the weather? We could have an ice age or maybe go all jungle all the time. Or possibly, it’ll just be miserable and rain all the time in one place, and be dry as dust elsewhere. I think one of the primary features of climate change is its unpredictability. We used to call it global warming — and it is that too, but sometimes it huge continent-sized storms, winds and tides that aren’t blowing and flowing where they have usually been. There’s a strangeness to weather. It makes it hard to forecast and even harder to live with.

When will it be so bad we can’t live with it? I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone truly knows, but we have a lot of “best guesses.” Meteorologically, there’s an awful lot going on in places where it never was.

Categories: #ClimateChange, Anecdote, Media, Q & A, questions, social media

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11 replies

  1. I’m a great proofreader but a lousy editor. I’d love to get myself a job for a few hours a week proofreading other people’s work, and earn just enough to supplement Social Security. That’s problably going to be the only way I’ll be able to stay in my home once my job is eliminated at the end of 2023. Wish me luck (and send me any leads … ).


    • First of all, put a big post on your blog! There are a LOT of writers on WordPress and we are ALL looking for proofreaders. A good one can be very hard to fine. As an example, Garry read my entire book out loud — and STILL missed bunches of typos. I’m absolutely hopeless. If I were doing the kind of writing that needs proofing — not blogging — I’d hire you in a heartbeat.

      But seriously, post a big add on your blog where no one can miss is. Make it a graphic, so you can post it at the bottom of every comment and post.

      I’m sorry to hear your job is being eliminated. Mine was eliminated many years ago, though it shows subtle signs of “re-emerging.” Not like I’m able or willing to go back to doing it. I don’t think I could.


  2. The deliberate err is the additional The, but thanks for the other notes that weren’t part of the err 🙂

    Making modern-day appliances easier to fix domestically like they used to be is a good start instead of making items purposefully for the obsoletion heap.

    Good points made Marilyn 🙂


    • I think our disposable society has probably multiplied by 100 times the amount of trash people dump. Considering all the other problems we have, you’d think at least we could do something about THAT.

      I spent 40 years as a writer and editor. I try NOT to pay attention to grammar and punctuation in other people’s blogs because this isn’t work. We aren’t at the office and I’m nobody’s boss. But if you ASK what the error is and there is more than one, a double “the” is not more important than not adding a colon before a sequential list and or a space after a comma in that list. I spent 40 years correcting other people’s writing. I have had to force myself to stop correcting newspaper articles. I still shout at the TV. Garry used to tell me to shut up, but now he finds himself yelling, “Fewer, not LESS, you moron.”

      More to the point, the double “the” was just a typo, not a grammatical or punctuation error. One of the weird things that has happened to me lately — I’m sure it’s a function of aging — is I’m thinking one word and my fingers are typing a different word. It’s as if my hands have a mind of their own. AND I leave off the final letter, syllable, or several syllables of words as if I’ve forgotten to finish them. I’m not merely “not a good proofreader.” I’m an AWFUL proofreader — but I’m a good editor.

      Proofing requires an ability to SEE each and every word. It requires you read relatively slowly. If you are a fast reader, you will always miss a lot especially when you wrote it yourself. We tend to see what we expect to see rather than what’s there.

      Personally, I think working online has made us sloppier. I often send comments before rereading. Always a mistake. We all work too fast and don’t reread thoroughly. We hit “publish” too soon. I’m probably not going to improve. I’m too old to fix the broken pieces.

      So please pardon me. I didn’t mean to pick on you. I was just being an editor, something that is very much a part of me, but maybe not the BEST part.


  3. I am not a great proofreader either. When I look at old articles to decide if I should update and recycle, so to speak, I am sometimes amazed at the errors that slipped through. I now have Grammarly on my computer so it happens less often.
    I have not been spending as much time on social media, primarily because other things are more important. I have noticed that a young celebrity that I follow is being harassed by Twitter trolls. It seems when he was 10 (that’s right, 10) he and some other boys were picking on someone. They were punished by the school and their parents and he apologized to the other boy and his parents. Now some people with nothing better to do have dredged this up. I can’t remember what I did when I was 10, but I am sure it included stupid stuff. I chatted privately with someone who knows him from high school and beyond (not at 10) and says he is the nicest guy, but let’s not let 10-year-olds learn their lesson!
    I am well aware recycling here does not work. Estimates are that the city’s program recycles about 9 percent of what it gets. A big part of the problem is that people routinely use the blue recycle bins for garbage and that can contaminate a lot of the items, especially paper and cardboard. Hence, a lot of things just get tossed instead.


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