Sunday Morning Reflections: The Art of Being Pathetic


© olly –

Yesterday’s post is a prime example of that line that everybody’s mother, father or grandparent used when we were kids, “Do as I say, not as I do!”  The topic was spelling and proofreading and I’ll start out with two big “Thanks” to Brian and Craig. 

A half hour after posting, Brian caught a typo in the sentence and sent me an IM, “…they got is right” that was immediately corrected and became “…they got it right”. Then, this morning I was reviewing comments and Craig wrote to me:

Was this deliberate then?😆  “Read out loud, to you spouse, assistant or a friend, what you’re about to publish.”

When I was a kid, my Uncle Morris, published his own book, a paperback about power selling. He found three typos after it went to print. His solution was to sell each book with a message he added on a separate sheet of paper, “There are three intentional mistakes in this book. Find them and let me know and you’ll receive a second copy, FREE.”

Well, I’d like to answer Craig and say my mistakes were intentional, but there’s no way I could keep a straight face. Both mistakes were never noticed. I read it out loud at least three times. I read it to my wife, Sheila. I posted it and was absolutely sure it was perfect.

As moronic and pathetic as I feel, both mistakes make a huge point about the importance of just slowing down and looking at something one last time, before it’s published. I know I’m in good company after seeing mistakes all the time in many of the national magazines, but that doesn’t make me feel any smarter.  However, it does point out that being pathetic is truly an art form
and we all share the same challenges.

I heard Guy Kawasaki speak two years ago. He’s one of the most published authors in business today and an outstanding presenter. He talked about his then just published book, APE, How to Publish a Book.  After at least thirty different people had read the draft and he’d caught every mistake, he said to his editor, “I’ll bet you’ve never seen a manuscript as clean as this one!”

A few days later he was sent a list of over 1600 corrections that needed to be made! His advice, after telling the story, was to emphasize the importance of hiring a great editor!

One good suggestion that I’m going to try came from

A little trick, read the text backward. Your brain won’t auto-correct what you are seeing. Or you could just write “sent from my iPhone”, which would at least explain at the typos. (So was Jean-Francois’ typo intentional? LOL)

A big thanks to Craig and Brian for letting me know about the mistakes and Jean-Francois for a terrific suggestion.  To all three of them, along with all of you, have a terrific Sunday…don’t take yourself too seriously and as always, hug somebody special today. Life is simply too short to not make a few new memories every day!


About Author

Comments are closed.