Saturday, February 09, 2013

Pardern My Misteaks

I'm late!
I'm late!
For a very important date!
No time to say "Hello", goodbye!
I'm late!
I'm late!
I'm late!
I run and then I hop hop hop
I wish that I could fly
There's danger if I dare to stop and here's the reason why...

You may recognize this white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. It is a message that I am borrowing for today to exemplify my way of wiping some egg off of my face. One of my very astute former students, Árpád F., has the courageous nature of sending me an eloquent e-mail pointing to my foibles in a post; he always offers me leeway to wiggle out of an embarrassing situation. As appreciative as I am that someone is paying such close attention to my writing, it is disturbing that I, as a professional and native speaker, should need this at all. 

Depending on what is happening in my life at the time I find a missive in the inbox, which then leads to either a positive or negative reaction on my part to being caught as providing a poor example. The last one I received, provoked more than a bit of sarcasm by stating that I was going to start writing in Spanish to slow him down. That would really cause alarms.

What comes around goes around. The last post was supposed to be titled “Eating or Reading” but after a day, I realized the title read “Eathing or Reading”. It seems my sarcasm has backfired as my non-salaried editor jumped ship, failed to alert me to the error of my typing, allowing my humiliation to be apparent to all. This did get me to wondering why there have been a seemingly increase in changes that needed to be made.

My investigation has pinpointed a couple of things.

The flood of e-mails that need to be attended to, a large portion from the university whittles away at my time. 

Multi-tasking increases the error rate. I cannot write a syllabus, check e-mail, post photos to Picasa, and answer my mobile phone while I am trying to decide why I walked into the store I find myself in, not knowing how I got there.
I try to do too many things just for the sake of living; hence, I am not giving 100% to each task at hand. I just may quit my job so I have more time for other activities.

I use PhraseExpress, which most of the time is a blessing. It is a program that one can create macros with phrases to shortcut the typing. For example when I type contr’ this pops up automatically “Do not use contractions in formal writing. Don’t do it.” This is great for when I am correcting essays; it saves me tons of time. However, there is also a clipboard cache, which I have recently noticed is adding things from its memory that I am not typing. Word does not always catch the error in grammar checking.

MS Word adds some nasty coding to Blogger, so I cannot write in Word and copy and paste to the post. First I write in Word, when time allows, copy and paste it to Notepad, and then finally copy and paste that into a post where it is then formatted.

Finally, after the post gets here, I rewrite or add to it. Blogger could care less whether or not I have left a word out or made a grammar tense error.

What i have explained is that native speakers generally see what is supposed to be there; the brain supplies the answers. Here is a good example of this.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed Typoglycemia :)-

Amzanig huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt!

 At least they got the grammar correct, didn't they
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