MountainWings - The Daily Inspirational E-Mail #1052
Helping You Over The Mountains of Life
Someone corrected me on grammar on a MountainWings issue today.
It was one of those rather obscure grammar rules.
The vast majority would never catch it.
This was the text of the message concerning issue
The More You Do
"As much as I enjoyed this particular issue of Mountain Wings,
I would like to offer some constructive criticism, especially since your
words are far-reaching. In grammar, remember it's "people who," "things that."
I.E., "She's the one who..." is proper grammatical usage. "She's the one that..."
is incorrect usage. I hope you will take this into consideration for all future
issues of Mountain Wings."
I will take that into consideration.
Overall, I'm a fairly good writer. I am more adept at concept than exact syntax
and structure of language. Even in school, I was frequently the top student
whenever the course dealt with composition.
Ideas and concepts was my strength. Exact syntax never was.
I speak that way, I dress that way, effective, but never exactly prim and proper.
So, I was corrected.
I have published two books. The first sold out of two printings. The second
book is now in it's seventh printing. QuickFasting is read on the web by
thousands. As a writer, I have accomplished perhaps more than the average
since of the 350,000 full length manuscripts written each year only a small
percentage gets published and a smaller percentage still sell out.
And still I messed up a simple grammar rule.
Life is not about messing up simple grammatical rules.
Life is about these simple lessons in messing up simple grammatical rules.
When you do mess up. . .
1. Be thankful that someone good and kind took time to point it out to you.
2. Do something about it to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
3. Whenever possible, clean it up.
4. Don't get mad at the person that told you that you messed up.
5. Don't wallow in the mess.
6. Don't encourage others to mess up just so your mess up won't look so bad.
7. Look at the habits, training and history that caused the mess up.
8. Work on erasing the habits, training and history that caused the mess up.
9. Admit it. You messed up!
10. Understand that everyone messes up and the more you do, the more mess
ups you'll have. If you don't write, you won't mess up writing, you won't offend
anyone, you won't get in trouble and you won't get criticized.
Life is about improving.
If you are a writer, you need to KNOW and FOLLOW the rules. If you do
deviate, you need to do it on purpose, not out of ignorance or laziness to learn
the rules but to make a point or deliberately create a style.
I emailed the comment to my assistant. I told her to get me a copy of Strunk's
Elements of Style. "The Elements of Style" is a book on basic and not so basic
grammatical rules written by William B Strunk. I had a copy in college.
I needed it back.
I told my assistant to get several copies because I don't just send
MountainWings straight out. I send copies to others to proofread before I email
them. That way, they'll catch any errors.
It's rare that I have errors and when I do, it's usually because I've been up late
and I just miss it. So I have MountainWings proofed before I send it.
They didn't catch that either. That's why I ordered several Strunk's.
All humans react negatively to being corrected.
You do, I do, everyone does. It's natural.
We have to fight to smile and say "thank you for telling me that."
We all want to hear the praises and "job well done" speeches but no one wants
to be corrected.
Some will even say, "don't correct me." After they say that, you won't.
Whoever corrected me, I thank you, for it shall make me a better writer starting
right now. I actually planned to take a college course on writing just to brush up
on old skills. It's been so long since Strunk and many of the things simply get rusty
from lack of use.
People often say that practice makes perfect but that's not true. If you continue
to practice without correction, you will only become perfectly wrong.
Practice with correction makes perfect.
In case you didn't realize it, the ten rules don't just apply to grammar.
Whoever you are, thank you for telling me that and I mean it.
I'll do my best not to make that misteak again.
A MountainWings Original
Thank you for inviting MountainWings in your mailbox.
See you tomorrow.
Help friends with their mountains in life.
Refer them to MountainWings.com or
simply click the "Forward" button to send this email
to a friend.
To rate this issue, submit a quote, joke or
inspirational story to MountainWings.com,
or to stop your free subscription,
simply click http://www.mountainwings.com