Writers Workshop: Speling Mistackes

Spelling Mistakes We all make spelling mistakes, right? I know I’ve made mountains of them over the years. Sure, we have excellent tools to see us through the dark times. But, spelling mistakes are inevitable and pernicious; sometimes, they are just plain fun. Let’s look at the upside for a moment.

Ernest Hemingway. It’s hard to argue with one of the acknowledged masters of the trade. However, like us mortals, he had some significant hurdles with spelling. Here is a brief selection of his misspelled words, taken from his manuscripts. These were corrected in the editing/publishing process: archiologist, condences, proffessional, ungry, mistyque, useing, Hawaia, loseing.

On a more mundane level, resumes and their cover letters offer some side-buckling humor. Of course, we all know the importance of that first impression. Here’s my favorite resume gaff: “I’m attacking my resume for you to review.” Found this on www.resumark.com. There are lots more.

Back to the luminaries. How about F. Scott Fitzgerald? Could he spell? Here’s the answer according to www.onlinecollegecourses.com: Few writers are so known for their bad spelling as Fitzgerald. How bad, you say? Fitzgerald wasn’t even able to spell the name of one of his closest friends, Hemingway, often misaddressing him in correspondence and papers as “Earnest Hemminway.” The editor of his collected letters called him a “lamentable speller” who struggled with words like “definite” and “criticism.” Still, his poor spelling didn’t seem to do the author any harm, and many of his works are regarded as literary masterpieces today.

And then there’s the world of journalism. Here’s what www.ezinearticles.com said about Britain’s infamous The Guardian: The Guardian newspaper has garnered an impressive reputation for frequent typographical errors, so much so that it has earned the nickname ‘The Grauniad‘ (first used in Private Eye magazine). Often cited is The Guardian’s first ever issue, which contained the spelling error ‘atction’ for ‘auction’.

How embarrassing can it be? Well, try this headline from Daily Mail in the U.K:  Pulped Fiction: Jonathan Franzen‘s latest novel recalled...because it’s full of mistakes. Wow, I wonder who looked at the galleys?

OK, this kind of thing can get old very quickly. Let’s just end it with a snap from the world of public service. I mean, really . . .



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