Today’s Daily Prompt asked us what we were snobby about. After thinking a bit I realized there are two things that push my snooty button faster than anything.
How hard is it to use the tools provided? I’ve lost count of the times I’ve stopped reading something, or discounted what a writer was saying because they didn’t run the damn spell check! Hey, I know not everyone can be a Spelling Bee Champ, I wasn’t. But if you have a tool that’s a mere button press or mouse click away, why in the name of everything snarky wouldn’t you employ that tool!? Sure, sure – I realize you can run a spell check and still wind up with a word that’s incorrect. Take this example for instance:
Time weights for no man.
Um, yeah. Time has weight alright. But time waits. Or doesn’t according to the meaning of the sentence. Sigh.
So spell check alone may not be enough. A writer needs to read what they wrote. Wow – groundbreaking! Now hold onto your tomatoes peeps because I’m not finished. I know good writers (and that includes all you bloggers out there) read what they write. As a long-time secretarial person I also know that you can read your own work till you see it in your dreams, and you may still miss some embarrassing boo-boo. That’s why secretaries still exist! Well, one of the reasons anyway. I work for attorneys (now would probably be okay for the tomatoes – ducking) and when you get half a dozen of them working on the same pleading? Fugedaboutit! This is why I’m known in the office as The Proofreader. Okay, not really. But that doesn’t stop them from bringing me (or now emailing me) a document that requires a close, careful read. They rely on me to weed out misspellings, inconsistencies in formatting, abbreviations, pagination, etc. It’s even been noted specifically as one of my better skills on my annual evals. But it’s a curse I tell you!
I can’t read anything … from the back of a cereal box to an ad on the side of a bus – without running my mental spell check and judging the author. That tends to make it difficult to take someone’s work seriously. They spent hours or days or weeks researching, compiling and composing only to allow such an obvious glitch? How do I know their research was done correctly? Can I trust their thought process? This is why you have someone else read it for you before publication. Or at the very least, put it on the back burner for a day or so. Reading it later helps you spot things you might otherwise miss. Experienced writers usually know this, but not everyone does. Or they trust themselves. Nothing wrong with that; I don’t have anyone read my stuff except me. If there’s a mistake I am fully responsible. But then I’m just writing for me; I’m not trying to persuade, or teach or enlighten.
Okay, off the soapbox Janey!
The other thing I’m snooty about is baking. I like to use REAL ingredients. You will NEVER find imitation vanilla in my kitchen! Or margarine. Or carob. Or … well let’s just not go there.
Fellow nitpickers: If you spot an error here please let me know. I’ll be happy to share the tomatoes with you! 😀