Friday, 25 July 2014

Going overboard

You may have guessed, from my comments about long summer holidays, that I work in a school. I'm not a teacher though, I work in the main office as a secretary. My line manager is an ex-teacher, an ex-English teacher to be exact. Now this means that she casts a beady eye over all our work. Oh yes, ALL our work. It's a bit of a standing joke that every single letter that leaves our office has to be checked by almost half a dozen people. We obviously check it ourselves, then the ex-English teacher checks it, then another member of the Leadership team checks it, if we are asking for money for a trip or something, the Finance office check it, and finally our Head checks it. Every. Single. Letter.
We joke about how much of the original letter will be left underneath all those red pen corrections. I'm hit by a double whammy as I am involved in the school newsletter. On average 20 pages of articles. All checked for spelling and punctuation, not to mention House Style. Ariel font. Size 11. Names in bold. Text justified within the body of the paragraph. Double space after each full stop. Extra carriage return between papragraphs. You get the picture.
Did I follow all these rules and regulations on my blog? I'll let you be the judge of that but the easy answer is not completely! I must learn to press that 'spell check' button before I press the 'publish' one.
When I was commenting on some other blogs last week I noticed that I had developed a habit that would never pass the red pen checks at work. I have become a bit too enthusiastic with my exclamation marks. Actually very over enthusiastic. I was frequently adding 3 to the end of a comment. Was what I had written that surprising? So I tried reining myself in. I wouldn't use more than one at work, so I tried hard to make myself stop at one. I've realised that I end more comments with an ! than a full stop; I obviously need to join a support group for people who can't stop exclaiming! (See, I did it again.)
My friend's daughter works for a publishing company and she had a meeting with Stephen Fry last week. At the end of a conversation he said to her "please don't start every sentence with the word 'so', it's really not necessary." Oops, fancy being corrected by Stephen Fry! Then I started listening around me, and it's true, people have started to begin sentences with "So, ..." 
One thing that makes me smile is when people put an apostrophe whenever they make a word plural or just if there's an s at the end. There are some funny ones out there and the more you look, the more you see.
So that's my topic for the day. Sorry Stephen, let's try that again. That's my topic for the day.  Do you have any particular things that drive you mad, make you smile or are guilty of overusing? I recently noticed that the expression "okey dokey" was creeping into my vocabulary far more frequently than it needed to. Let's be honest, no one really needs "okey dokey" in their life. Does anyone else want to join the !!! Support Group? 


Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

It's funny, isn't it? I've become really aware of words that I use when I'm blogging. 'So' is a word I think I use to much (as a connective rather than at the beginning of a sentence) and I often delete it and make two separate sentences to avoid it! I'm another exclaimer!

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

*too much* I hate typos too!!!

Jane said...

I find myself doing that a lot as well!!!

Sinead said...

I am a bit of a grammar Nazi I'm afraid! Seeing things misspelled or incorrect apostrophes drive me mad - though I think I'm with you on the overuse of the exclamation mark, particularly when blogging!! X

cards on anniversary said...
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scrappyjacky said...

Must be something to do with blogging....the overuse of the exclamation mark....though I think I may be guilty of it in emails as well!!!!
Thank you so much for my lovely quilt square....and the postcard as's going to be a month of happy mail!!!
Oh apostrophe as well!!!

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

So, I love this post, Deb!!! ;o)

I think I'm in the habit of adding !!! way too much and I have actually tried to back off on that just lately. I use "so" at the beginning of a sentence and I'll also do the unthinkable and begin a sentence with "And" or "But" on occasion too. The way I write for my blog tends to be very casual compared to the way I would write a business letter. And I'll admit to never really learning the proper way to use a semi-colon. :o\ ;?

A little grammar oops that bugs me is the improper use of your/you're. We'll throw in there/their/they're while we're at it!!!

Abi said...

Such a great post! It made me chuckle. I definitely use the exclamation mark a lot in commenting. I like to think it's friendly! Whoops, there I go again.
My pet peeve is similar to Deb. I hate incorrect use of their/there. Too/to is a particular one I can't stand!

alexa said...

Your post has made me smile - and I am trying not to use an exclamation mark ( I just wanted to put one in there). My pet red flag is the incorrect use of the apostrophe in 'it's/its'. Even big name scrapbookers make errors with this. The simple rule is: do you mean 'it is'? Then use the apostrophe. Otherwise, omit it. Hoping you can relax and enjoy the summer and thank-you for a great read this morning.

Amy said...

Hheheee ... I use okey-dokey sometimes - dunno why because I would never use it in regular conversation. I drift into colloquial Australian speak too which is not how I speak at all ... funny what a blog and commenting will do to you.

Karen said...

I have to admit that I like the occasional exclamation mark! Hee Hee!

The guy who comes in to fix our computers at work uses okey dokey all the time and we take bets on how many times he will say it during our conversations.

Ruth said...

So, the dreaded the misuse of the apostrophe ... sorry couldn't resist. That's been a bugbear of mine for years. My particular unfavourite? Photo's.
I think that the way we speak (generalising here), is possibly influenced by sitcoms from across the pond. Characters in TV programs never talk like anyone I know in real life. Dawson's Creek, anyone? Another annoyance is the use of the word "like" mid-sentence. As in, "how annoying is that?" "Like, totally!"
I'm going to stop now.

Ruth said...

And misuse of the comma, which I know I am guilty of.

Sian said...

I'm definitely guilty of too many exclamation points.

Stephen Fry, you don't need that "really" because something can't be a little bit necessary. It either is or it isn't, so no emphasis is required