April 20, 2011
THE WAY OF THE WRITER: Best Tool for Great Writing
I'm in my minvan, waiting for a red light, my eyes are wandering as I listen to an old time radio drama and I see the tailgate of a small pick-up truck. It belongs to some sort of service company, plumbing or something. I don't know. I don't remember who it was, all I remember is seeing the slogan on the back of the truck:
"YOUR FOLLOWING QUALITY SERVICE"
And all I can think is, "MY following quality service? What do they know about MY following quality service?" And then I chuckle to myself about my grammatical joking at their expense.
And then I stop chuckling to myself because not only do I have no one to share the joke with, not only would most people not really get the joke without me taking the time to explain it . . . it's not a very funny joke.
But it does highlight an important issue I've been thinking about a lot. The company spent money to put their message on the truck, and in doing so they spent money to put an incorrect message on the truck. They were missing the apostrophe and the "e" to make "you're" instead of "your". Because the message they wanted to get across was that "you ARE following".
Simple mistake. Common mistake. Easily avoidable mistake.
The editor is the writer's best friend. (Good editors, I should say.) The editor takes what you've done and pushes you to make it better. The editor doesn't let a missing apostrophe make you look careless (at best) and uneducated (at worst).
In a world where anyone can publish anything at anytime . . . editors are needed now more than ever. And if you don't have one, because your project isn't big enough, find one.
Other "Way of the Writer" posts:
The Weight of the Writer
Intentionality, part 1
Nothing New Under the Sun
Intentionality, part 2
It's So Rewarding