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?