Monday, October 20, 2008

Report Card

Today is my 50th post.

I'm pretty proud of that. I set myself an assignment (to write every day) and, for the most part I've done it.

Now it's time to get better at it.

Goals for the next 50 posts:

1. Spelling: Current Grade, B+

In this day and age, with spell check, there is absolutely no excuse for misspellings. At all.

Little known fact about me: In the 8th grade, I purposely failed Spelling the last grading period before summer began - sort of my way of objecting to busywork. Take that, The Man! My ignorance is a thorn in your side!

Never mind the fact that I still have to think twice about how to spell Surprize*.

2. Grammar: Current Grade, C

i think i do okay, for, the most part when it comes to...grammar?

(Reading that sentence, as written, is painful.)

I have the usual pet peeves about "it's" and "its" and whether I should use a - or a , or a :. What kills me is when I reread a post and I have these errors all over the place. It's not that I don't know the difference (mostly), it's that I didn't proofread.

Which leads me to...

3. Proofreading: Current Grade, D

Anyone who has ever received an email from me, at any time, has experienced the terrible glory of my proofreading habits. Just last week, I sent an email with the subject header "Call Off the Dogs". Or, at least, that's what I had intended. What actually went out was "Call OF the Dogs", which lead to some confusion.

I am, by nature, an impatient person. Once I've finished typing something all out, I hit send or publish right away. I doubt any of you keep tabs on what minor changes I make to a post through out the day. On average I have to go back about ten times and alter turns of phrase, grammar, all the "teh's", and add that one sentence that actually makes the paragraph comprehensible.

This is also a result of my wanting to get it out of my hands before I destroy it. Many of you have been truly encouraging (it is so exciting that you choose to read it at all), but, after having gone back and rechecked some earlier posts, it's all I can do not to hit the delete button.

I haven't done that yet. I suppose it's natural on some level to want to destroy what you create. Jeez, look around us.

4. Preparation: Current Grade, C

This is one upon which I really want to improve. Every post with one exception is the result of me thinking about what I'm going to write for about an hour, writing for about an hour, and then getting it up as quickly as possible. On more than on occasion, I have short changed some larger point because of my impatience and lack of preparation.

In high school, I was always that kid who sat with a blank page in front of me for the first hour of a 90 minute essay test, and then wrote furiously until time was up. In general the grades were why change the habit?

Now that there is no real grade, but the one I give myself, I realize exactly how dissatisfied I am with "Just Good Enough To Get By." It can be better. And that was the whole point of starting this blog in the first place.

Many thanks to all y'uns for reading and commenting. Here's to taking the great leap forward into betterment!

And using questionable words!

*Yeah, I know it's surpriSe...or is it? FUCK.


Joe Janes said...

I do the exact same thing with "surprise." In fact, I looked it up before writing it here.

Dianna said... problem spelling "fuck".

(i have the same problem...)

joe g said...

With "surprise," I always wonder if that first 's' is supposed to be there.

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