Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Deadly Typos

I've noticed recently that, when I'm typing fast, I have a tendency to hit d's when I meant to his s's and vice versa.  Spell check, of course, finds most of these for me and I can correct them before I've even started the next paragraph, but there are some obvious times when spell check does nothing for me.  Do you see it?  The problem is verbs.

If I'm trying to type "hatches" and I type "hatched," both are properly-spelled words.  Spell check won't notice it, and neither will I unless I see it right away or I happen to go back and read the sentence.  And even then, if I'm auto-correcting in my mind, I might not notice the change in tense.

Now, I normally give myself considerable time before going back for final edits, so that ought to distance me enough to find this sort of verb tense error.  And I think it's an important one to correct.  I don't want editors to think I don't know how to handle the simple difference between past and present tense, after all.

I never noticed myself making this typo before I began writing the novel, and I'll be curious to see how many verb tense disparities I made within 109,000 words.


Ben Godby said...

I've never heard it articulated like this before, but that is exactly how I make most of my typos, also. Verb tenses, as well as missing words that don't destroy the grammar of a sentence but do ruin its context.

I suppose I rely all too much on those squiggly red and green lines to tell me what's the deal!

Dawn said...

I did so much of that when I was pregnant. And my day job involves data entry of mostly numbers and 3 - 4 letter codes, so it drove me insane.

But the writing.. you CAN find these. After you've done your revision and polish and think it's ready to go? Read it aloud. You'll find every last one of those suckers. Especially if you read it off paper and not the computer screen.

Don't give yourself grief. It'll pass.

Anonymous said...

Words that end in "in" I frequently write "ing" out of habit. Like "bin" becomes "bing" and so forth. XD Hurray for copyeditors.

Eileen Rhoadarmer said...

Pregnant, huh? I never thought to blame it on that. I guess I'll see whether it goes away in June. And this IS what editing is for.

Charlie--I do the in to ing thing too sometimes, though usually I see that one right away. Funny what our brains make our fingers do, isn't it?

Mom said...

I'm not an author like you, but I wonder if there is an underlying psychological reason for why I type the word 'sign' into sighn...all the time!