Here’s a challenge. Would someone please design an edit function so authors of online comments can get a free pass for a do-over? The way either my blind eyes or my dyslexic fingers miss typos is enough to turn my face red and make my back itch.


I mean, I know better. I type in a comment and I reread it. But do I see the gaffes before I hit Enter? Never. It’s like my eyes go into sleep mode. Yesterday I immortalized loose when I meant lose. I suppose loose sort of worked — if I wanted to stretch things. It’s like knowing the right answer on a test but scribbling in the wrong black dot. Forehead slapping time.

So. I suppose it comes down to humility. I’m never going to be allowed to puff myself up or get even a mite cocky, because before I’ve taken that deep breath, I’ve found a way to embarrass myself.

Yes, ma’am.

How about you? What typos have you set in stone? Are you ducking any titters?



17 Replies to “Do-Overs”

  1. I leave out words, misuse words, and misspell words in comments all of the time. Even after I have edited myself. I just shrug my shoulders and figure they will know what I mean.

      1. Here’s a thought, why not write your comments in a word document and then use spell/grammar check first and get it just right, then copy and paste to the comments?

        1. Well, wouldn’t that be organized of me, Steph? I can’t imagine. I steal the time to read other blogs and comment, so I dash in, drop off, and oops… But, as I said, it keeps me humble!

        2. How much do you want to bet that MS Word would drop some weird characters into the reply which would then format your comment in such a way as to be illegible?

          1. I can certainly believe that. But it’s the time element that would keep me quiet.

  2. There’s not one of us out there who hasn’t done exactly what you describe. I’ve even been known to see an error as I press the enter button and try to correct before it saves, to no avail I might add. The problem is of course that we know what we expect to see because we wrote it. Really we should ask fresh eyes to look it over, or walk away for ten minutes and then come back for another look. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    From a gaffe prone friend.

  3. Don’t you hate it when you see the goof just as you send? How many times… But there are rarely fresh eyes that have the time to look at what I’m writing, David, which means it’s up to me, myself and I-of-the-blind-eyes!

  4. Unfortunately it happens all the time. Yesterday I was reading someone’s critique of my WIP, and she’d changed “alter” to “altar.” As in, “She stepped off the altar…” Duh. I knew that. I hate it when I do stuff like that. I think you’re right, Normandie–our humanness keeps us humble.

    1. If it doesn’t at least do the humility thing, Robin, then I’m walking around, too often embarrassed, for naught.

  5. I do it all the time on MOBSW and there’s totally no edit function on that website.

    I’m never sure what to do when I find a typo in a comment on my own weblog. I feel like I want to correct it to save the poster some embarrassment, but then I wonder if they won’t feel more embarrassed if they come back and discover I changed affect to effect or changed Jennifer to Jane. 🙂

    1. Oh, and just to up the degree of difficulty, my new operating system on this computer incorporates autocorrect into Safari so that when I type “heplock” into MOBSW, where that word gets used pretty often, it autocorrects it to “hemlock” so it sounds like I advocate killing laboring women rather than giving them an IV. 🙂 It does that to a lot of words I like to write as one compound word rather than two words (things like “stepbrother” it wants to separate) and other words which are made-up but close to the real thing (“sciencey” keeps getting changed back to science).

      And sometimes I don’t notice those before they’ve gone through because I know I typed them correctly, and autocorrect “fixed” them.

      1. I’m sorry about your auto-correct bit, Jane–if I had it, I’d have anger issues, I promise you. Word only recently decided not to red-flag the subjunctive, and Google–or whatever it is I use for emails–turns even normal words into red-underlined doohickies that make me doubt myself. (It wouldn’t let me leave autocorrect as one word.)

  6. I do that all the time, so I am glad to hear I am not the only one – as you say, the time element has a part to play. It often means either no comment at all or a dashed-off, unedited one…
    There are some classics that you may or may not have heard off:
    1) in a geography article about rock formations – instead of ‘erratic blocks were strewn in the plain’, someone wrote ‘erotic blacks’
    2) And my personal experience (admittedly, with a Japanese journalist): instead of the ‘the first free elections in this country’ he wrote ‘the first flea erections’. Luckily he did have me to check that one out before sending!

    1. What a hoot, especially that last one. It reminds me of the time I spoke to an older Palestinian woman in Arabic, thinking I was saying something funny. Instead, I called her an animal. We had to do some back-peddling on that one to get me out of trouble. That’ll teach me to play with languages when I’ve only learned a few words — and those few from boys. On that same visit, I spoke in English to my friends and said the fellow behind the wheel was driving like a maniac. Seems that translated as an insult to his manhood.

      Can’t win sometimes . . . either in writing or when we open our mouth. Sigh.

  7. First of all, the new web page looks great.

    Typos…When I’m working from home I have a spell checker that checks even my FB posts. When I’m working from work, the work e-mail checks itself, but my home address, accessed from work doesn’t. I’m so used to hitting send if there is nothing underlined in red, I often see the mistake after the fact and duck my head into my hands and whisper…you’re a writer for Pete’s sake…

    1. Sharon, thanks for stopping by. So glad you like the website!

      I don’t see Word or Scrivener red underlines any longer because Word especially hates the names or southernisms I use. And I used to be a proofreader. Sigh. It’s obviously all part of keeping us humble, don’t you think?

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