Story & Photo – Joseph Boyle
My, oh my. My Starbucks friend, Sandy Mazzei, and my friend Mary Hammond both do a nice job pointing out my word selection errors in the articles I write for The Suburban Times. I will be quick to add that I appreciate their comments. I love writing. In fact I have a passion for writing about all kinds of topics with the hope that if I am interested in a topic or idea, some of my readers will be interested or entertained, too. I am an eclectic observational writer covering any topic or observation that catches my attention in everyday life. I specialize in writing about positive stories since there are plenty of other writers covering the negative news and things we wish to complain about.
Try as I might, I belatedly discover word selection errors. I review all my pieces multiple times. After thinking the piece is perfect, I send it in, only to later find word selection errors. Sometimes you help me by skipping over one of my writing errors thereby reading not what I wrote, but what I meant to write. You sometimes see what I think. I thank you for that courtesy.
Words like sole vs. soul, to vs. too or two, desert vs. dessert, peeled vs. pealed, butt vs. but and write vs. right or wright can be a challenge. These are small issues when held up against the big picture of writing, idea sharing and communication, but would it not be nice to get it completely right most, if not all the time? Spell Check does not always help. I am what you could describe as a long on courage and short on brains writer. By that I mean, I write articles even though I have no formal training. I have no college degree in writing. I write anyway. Writing is enjoyable for me, and you, my readers, seem to have fun reading what I write. In the final analysis, if you and I are having a good time, I should continue writing. For me, writing is kind of like an off the wall volunteer community service activity.
I recognize the word selection issue as a weakness in my writing efforts and plan to see if I can improve. I just broke out my old 5th Edition (Addition…I caught that one.) Harbrace College Handbook, Copyright 1962. The book set me back $3.50 in 1962. I just checked and the current 12th Edition costs $32.00. I will work with my trusty old $3.50 friend to see if I am able to develop a higher level of writing skills. Of course language rules may have changed since the 5th Edition. I am afraid if I peek inside the 12th Edition, I may find that it is now OK to say things like, “I ain’t got no”, “Where are you AT?” and “I be ax a question”.
Do any of you have any tips or hints as to how I might lick this word selection problem?
If I am able to improve, I will be able to enjoy the sweat smell of success. Oops! I did it again. I mean the sweet smell of success. You know what I mien or I mean, I mean.