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Word Nerd: Reader, Writer, Copy Editor

Updated on October 13, 2014

I Love Words!

I am a word nerd. I read. I write. I edit.

I'm kind of like Cole Sear, the boy in The Sixth Sense, who sees dead people, but instead of dead people, I see typos.

I see apostrophes where they don't belong.

I see glaring white space where missing periods go.

I see "too" spelled "to," and "underway" used when "under way" is meant. It's a crying shame how often I see "it's" used when the writer meant "its."

Some days it can drive a person crazy. That explains it! This photo is shown larger later in this article. See if you can find the typos in it.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

I worked as a technical editor for

engineering firms for 20+ years and

now edit textbooks for a major publisher.

These clients all want their documents

to communicate clearly and concisely.

Using correct spelling, proper punctuation, and

good grammar communicates every time.

Bring and Take

"You ask people to bring things to you,

and you take things to other people."

The important thing to remember is

where you are (the frame of reference).

Source: Grammar Girl

I've always loved to read!

And I blog about it at

A Good Book Is Awaiting.

Copy editing isn't something

I do just when I'm being paid for it.

I see misspellings everywhere I go (often in my own writing!). Proofreading your work is as important as writing it in the first place.

The following sign is prominently

displayed at my local post office.

It's riddled with more typos than a ten-gallon hat after a shootout.



Cake Wrecks - See? Whatever your job, you need to know how to spell and to think logically!

This book shows off some stunningly spectacular boo boos written on cakes.

This hilarious book is about cake decorating gone wrong. The cover features a cake that reads:

Best Wishes Suzanne

Under Neat That

We Will Miss You!

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition - A fine dictionary

When in doubt, look it up. Dictionaries are great for all sorts of things.

Pronunciation: The first choice is the preferred way to say a word, such as in the word "often." The preferred way is pronounced without saying the "t." Check here if you want to hear it pronounced both ways.

Spelling: Some words can be spelled different ways. Again, go with the first spelling listed in the dictionary. The word "modeled" can also be spelled "modelled," but that's the second choice so don't use it.

Good grief.
Good grief.

When Copy Editing, Make Sure Messages Make Sense

This one is just plain dumb.

One of the main things a copy editor is supposed to do is make sure the written words make sense.

This sign is a shining example of nonsensical writing, even if it is just a price tag. Sure, there is a penny difference in the price but even to a tightwad like me, that's not a good marketing ploy.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Are you a word nerd like me?

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    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 5 years ago

      Great lens! Thank you for sharing.. and yes I am a word nerd too :) power to the word nerds!

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I try to be a word nerd. Years ago, I amused myself by reading my dictionary. I looked up a word and then - looked up the words in the definition.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Love this. So great to find another word person who can't help seeing typos! I studied journalism in college and my first job in that world was as a proofreader (this was BC - Before Computers and that item people today depend too much on - Spellcheck!). I'm not sure why, but that short-term proofreading job did something to my brain because ever since typos literally 'leap' off the page at me.

      The incorrect use of words and grammar can be troublesome too. My latest pet peeve is the use of 'past time' for 'pastime'. Believe it or not, I have seen it 4 times in the past week on Squidoo lenses alone!

      Thanks for this entertaining and interesting page.

    • SimplySara LM profile image

      SimplySara LM 5 years ago

      This is GREAT! Fabulous info-graphics. How about "the artist formally known as Prince." Ha! I had NEVER, I mean N-E-V-E-R heard that one or seen it in writing until my friend told me it was her top grammatical pet-peeve. Of course, ever since then, I see it EVERYWHERE! Great share!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @MarcoG: Thanks, Marco. Will check it out.

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      You should check out The Oatmeal - he does some excellent word based and grammar posters x

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Omigosh, yes! Kindred spirits, you and I. :-)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @amy-turpin-96: I can imagine, Amy. I probably use that wrong!

    • profile image

      amy-turpin-96 5 years ago

      My mom hated it when people put ONLY in the wrong place, and I still check to be sure I have it correct because of her reminders in my head!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Loose and lose. Their, there and they're. UGH! Those especially drive me bonkers. I think I would have to tell the postmaster to fix that sign. haha

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Typos and grammatical errors do jump out at me too.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Typos and grammatical errors do jump out at me too.

    • KReneeC profile image

      KReneeC 5 years ago

      Power to all word nerds!! I am so glad to have found there is someone else out there that is a word nerd like me!! Great lens!! Love all the visuals!