When I was in college, I worked at a gas station convenience store. It was there that I learned of my latent love of finding food past its expiration date. It was like being a detective! After I found all the food that was expired, then I would find items that the expiration date was soon approaching. Baby food was good for this. No one in two years ever bought baby food at that gas station. I started checking the dates in other stores. I just couldn’t help myself. I learned that a nearby grocery store’s lunch meat selection was a great place to find goods past their date.
I also like to find grammatical errors, especially in printed signs, labels, and paperwork. It gives me a thrill. Now, don’t get me wrong. My writing is in no way error-free. I am sure you can find many of them on this very blog. But, I just expect that printed items would be proof read a few times before going to print. Labels on products from China with bad translations are such easy targets. They don’t count. Recently I found a typo on the ABC.com website. Hello! You are owned by freakin’ Disney. You can pay someone to proofread the website. Maybe me;-)
This obsession carries over to other things as well. I get giddy when I see a business that is clearly closed, who have left for the night and their neon “OPEN” is left on. There was a towing business on my back way home from work who would more often than not forget and leave their’s on.
The manual I had for my Pontiac Aztek had a very blatent error in it. (I sooo wish I would have scanned it so I could show you. But, alas, it is now gone with the car. To Florida. Lucky car.) On one page, it said that you must close the tailgate before you close the glass liftgate, or you would risk breaking the glass. Several pages later, it said that you must close the glass liftgate first before the tailgate, your you could break the glass. (For the record, the first one was correct.)
The packaging on the Four Paws Safety Harness never ceases to make me giggle. It actually says, “Helps protect your pet from injury while driving.” It makes it sound like the dog is actually going to be driving and steering the car. I realize that maybe to someone in England or something it might sound proper. But it seems like it would sound more universally appropriate if they rephrased it to just say “Helps protect your pet from injury while riding”?
I used to go with my husband to visit his mom at a nearby campground. She had a neighbor that would let us borrow their golf cart to drive around in. Right on the steering wheel was a list of how to operate it correctly. There was a typo on it.
Do you see? Those are the kind of idiosyncrasies that drive me crazy. Not so much grammar on social media, because that is just a lost cause. But printed materials: labels, signs, books. They should have some degree of accuracy, shouldn’t they?
And now I would like to put my eyeballs where my mouth is. I want to use this talent for good, instead of evil.
I am going into the editing business. I will proofread books for things such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization. I can also do services like typing up resumes or other documents. Let me know what you need, and I will let you know if I can do it. Please check out my new “Editing” page. I will list all the details there as they become available.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you could possibly use my services.
My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!