maybe it’s me, but…



I’m a lazy online person.

There are blogs I read religiously, but the rest of the time I flitter around like a drunken bumble bee attempting to work out if anything is actually going on in the big wide reading, writing and publishing world or is it just the usual shit rehashed. *Irony, I haz it.*

My stumbling around occasionally takes me past author sites, which is a very nice segue to my post of today about the dreaded online persona.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s been done to death. *Hence the irony thing.* However, I’m not interested in discussing authorzilla wankfests *this time*. Instead, I wanted to ask a question about something that always takes me aback.

That is, how do you feel when you read a post by an author which has spelling and grammatical errors in it?

Because as much as I realise blogging is meant to be a more informal way of interacting with fans and other writers, etc, as a reader I have to admit that I find it really off-putting.

Yeah, yeah, I know (again). Authors are not Gods, the pedestal thing sucks big time and I’m the last person who should talk about so-called writing skills, but still…

What do you think?
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About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in blogging stuff, maybe it's me but, serious randomness, the author pedestal thing. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to maybe it’s me, but…

  1. JenB says:

    I do notice it, but I can't really say it bothers me. It's not something that would influence my purchase/reading choices.

    Unless it's a post about grammar and good writing. Then it's FUNNY! LOL

  2. orannia says:

    I'm with JenB on this – I'm not hugely bothered, although it is slightly annoying if the spelling error could have been fixed by a simple spell check!

    Oh, and I just saw your review of The Archer's Heart on Amazon. Am rather tempted to buy it…

  3. Ingrid says:

    It must be really outrageous will I notice. And then I don't mind. Writers are people like you and me.
    I am happy with the automatic spell check in firefox. It removes many mistakes or typo's.

  4. LesleyW says:

    If it was to the point where it was unreadably it might bother me a little, but as long as the books themselves are fine I don't see I'd have a problem with it.

    And my own grammar is appalling, so I'm hardly in a position to be complaining about anyone elses. πŸ™‚

  5. LesleyW says:

    Lol – see what I mean. That should have been unreadable. But that's more down to my bad typing than my bad grammar. πŸ™‚

  6. Anonymous says:

    I'm almost with you on this Kris. I think also that how one feels does come from their academic background: for example, if you have a degree in English you may feel that whoever is writing a piece should be more careful regarding mistakes in their work.

    While it really annoys me to see spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes in written texts. I think it could be accepted in a case of blogging or tweeting, on the understanding that we may be in a hurry to have our opinions online. An author however may need to be a bit more careful – it is their reputation that could be in question.

    My opinion only…

  7. nichem says:

    If it's an author I've read and liked, it doesn't really bother me. I've seen that they can write well/ put out a decent book, so I figure the mistake was just an error from composing a post quickly. Hell, I know I make them all the time. I do have the urge to correct it for them, though. πŸ˜›

    If it's an author I've never read before, I'll admit I sometimes wonder if their books will have lots of errors too, and it makes me a bit more hesitant to try them. Actually, even if they are error free, but I just don't like the writing style of their post, I'm less likely to get their book figuring it will be the same. But then that works in reverse too, as I've bought books because I liked the author's blog posts.

    *hopes this comment is error free*

  8. Tam says:

    Ditto everyone else. As long as it's not HUGE “I is a new auther who writtens good bookz.”, then I'm okay with a few errors.

  9. Kassa says:

    I don't think it's a big deal personally. They're not paying anyone to fix their mistakes. In books, it's a much bigger deal.

  10. Great post, Kris! It doesn't bother me on a blog because that's more informal, but it does on a website, which is supposed to be more permanent and professional. It bothers me even more if it's a business website rather than a writer's website — I've made decisions on who to do business with based on how professional their website looks!

  11. Jenre says:

    I have to admit that I'm surprised when I do see spelling or grammatical errors on an author blog. Maybe it's the English teacher in me, but I feel that it's difficult to take anyone seriously as a writer if their written skills aren't up to scratch. The thing is I do notice them, every time. This probably stems from years of reading and correcting kid's work. It implies (at least to me) that the author is either careless or that they think 'oh well, it's only a blog and I'm amongst friends'. This is partly right but author blogs are looked at by potential readers as well as faithful friends and as such should be a place where an author can showcase themselves. Many errors in a blog post is not giving a favourable impression to those potential readers.

    Then again, I suppose I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't make allowances for the odd slip or mistake. I read through my blog posts several times before posting and I still find errors in them once they are up. The most embarrassing mistakes are the ones which I discover weeks after I published the post!

  12. Kris says:

    JenB: Being nosy… would it bother you more if it was an author that you regularly edited in a 'dammit, how many times do I have to friggin' correct this' way??

    “Unless it's a post about grammar and good writing. Then it's FUNNY!” Hell, yes!! I've read a few of those myself. They're always hilarious.

    Orannia: What I've noticed is that some people rely too heavily on spell and grammar check and hit accept without double checking to make sure the suggested change is actually the correct one.

    The Archer's Heart is terrific and the world building fabulous. I'd loan you my copy, but if anything happened to it in transit or whilst in your keeping, I would have to hunt you down and kill you. *G*

    Ingrid: I'm anal to the extreme so notice the little as well as the big things. *Does that sound rude to anyone else?*

    I've made too many mistakes using automatic spell and grammar checks myself to trust them, which is a mistake I think that a number of people also make.

  13. Kris says:

    Lesley: I'm well aware of the pot and kettle thing myself. πŸ˜‰

    In some author posts mistakes may only come up now and again, but with the ones that are frequently riddled it always makes me suspicious about the level to which a book is actually the work of an author if they don't seem to write very well to begin with. Might be nasty of me, but… *shrugs*

    Anon: Hmmm, I think you're right that it is likely my academic and work experience is coming into play with my attitude on this issue, which is really just part and parcel of the context any reader brings to their reading of a piece of work whether that be a book or a blog post.

    Your point about reputation is a good one. I do think that authors need to be as careful about what they say online as the way they say it; that is, the way they write it.

    Richelle: I actually have the opposite reaction to you, Richelle. I am more bothered by a well known author making mistakes in an online forum than I am about a new-to-me author.

    With the new author I'm willing to give some leeway and benefit of the doubt, but with an experienced author, especially one who I see making frequent mistakes, I get suspicious and uncomfortable.

  14. Huh…good question. I don't mind if it's once in a blue moon, but if it's in every post and it happens multiple times, then it's just annoying. You know that other then must have a VERY good editor. lol

  15. If an author make a grammatically boo boo in a comment, it doesn't phase me. I've done it too many times to count!

    Authors are real people too!

    And I am so upset when I don't see you commenting on my blog Kris. 😦 So, you need to comment on every single one of my posts. I won't take no for an answer.

  16. Kris says:

    Tam: *snort* Yes, that would be a tad worrisome, wouldn't it.

    Kassa: I agree in books it's a much bigger deal, especially given the bigger picture of editing and publishing, but I would have thought that it's precisely because no one is double checking their work that they would be more careful. *Jesus, I'm sounding like a right proper bitch, aren't I.*

    Val: Granted a blog is more informal than say a website, but to me an online presence is an online presence period. So, whether it be a chatty blog or a website complete with bios, book lists, etc, the approach should be a professional one regardless of the forum/tool. *Oh yeah. It's beyond sounds like.*

  17. Kris says:

    Jen: Thank God. I was beginning to feel friendless. πŸ™‚

    Putting aside the hypocrisy thing *I'm well aware of my own thanks very much*… I am definitely one of those who enjoy the informal chattiness and friendliness of author blogs, but I don't think that this – the 'we're all mates here' approach – can be taken as a reason/ excuse/ whatever to be, as you said, careless about the way in which the author presents themselves to new and old readers alike.

    Bridget: Exactly!! It does make you think that they must have a bloody good editor because they can't write for shit in the first place.

    Katiebabs chook: “Authors are real people too!” I agree. They're also real people who make a living – well, some of 'em do anyway – writing so mistakes in comments *hell, I do this ALL the time myself* and in the occasional blog I can handle, but consistently?? Not so much.

    What the hell are you talking about?! I commented on a post just this morning!! *Hmpf!*

  18. JenB says:

    Nope, not really. I rarely talk to authors about their grammar. I make my corrections, put my comments in the ms, and trust them (and the content editor) to take care of it.

    I think subconsciously I remember which authors have consistent quirks, but I'm really not all that critical of casual writing. That includes blog posts, Twitter, chat, etc.

    and omg u shd see how i talk on chat…justl ike this…typos and all πŸ˜‰

    The stuff that annoys me the most is the crap that ends up in published books. If it's gone through 5 rounds of edits and STILL has major errors, game on. I show no mercy in my ridicule. I'll tear that bitch up on Twitter. I just won't name names or quote exact lines. πŸ˜€

  19. K. Z. Snow says:

    No, we're not real people (although my back and certain joints would dispute this after being subjected to four or five days' worth of hauling around boxes).

    Anyway, it does bother me to see authors who don't have their language s**t together enough to compose coherent blog posts. That makes it difficult not to question their fitness to be published. For crying out loud, if published writers can't uphold a certain standard of English usage, who else is supposed to?

    Editors and proofreaders don't exist to turn inept users of the language into “authors”; they exist to finesse work that already displays a certain degree of craftsmanship. True, we all make mistakes. But if somebody has such a shaky command of grammar, syntax, punctuation, and spelling that his or her work requires line-by-line correction, that person shouldn't be signed by any publisher.

    (I have to take some ibuprofen now.)

  20. Ingrid says:

    Kris it's not an automatic spell check. I only use it for double l's. forgotten e's en u's.

  21. orannia says:

    Good point Kris. Sometimes things may be spelt correctly but still be wrong, if you know what I mean πŸ™‚

    The Archer's Heart is terrific and the world building fabulous. I'd loan you my copy, but if anything happened to it in transit or whilst in your keeping, I would have to hunt you down and kill you. *G*

    And we do wouldn't want that πŸ™‚ Thank you sweetie…I'm going to be bad…or is that bold…and buy it from Amazon! While I almost spelt Amazong…LOL!

  22. Kris says:

    JenB: *snort* Doofus. πŸ™‚

    “The stuff that annoys me the most is the crap that ends up in published books. If it's gone through 5 rounds of edits and STILL has major errors, game on. I show no mercy in my ridicule. I'll tear that bitch up on Twitter. I just won't name names or quote exact lines. :D”

    Yeah, yeah. You're a hardcore bitch not naming names to protect the innocent.

    *whispers* So, tell me which epub is the worst offender? It'll just be between us. I promise. πŸ˜‰

    KZ: “Anyway, it does bother me to see authors who don't have their language s**t together enough to compose coherent blog posts. That makes it difficult not to question their fitness to be published.”

    Yup, I agree. Thinking about it, I also reckon it could have negative associations for the publisher that does contract their books.

    Hope the imaginary ibuprofen kicked in for you, btw.

  23. Kris says:

    Ingrid: Ahh, I'm with you now.

    Orannia: “Sometimes things may be spelt correctly but still be wrong, if you know what I mean :)”

    Yep, it's that old chestnut 'there', 'their' and 'they're'.

    Let me know what you think of The Archer's Heart if you get it.

  24. K. Z. Snow says:

    “Hope the imaginary ibuprofen kicked in for you, btw.”

    'Fraid there's nothing imaginary about it. I've been living on the stuff since yesterday evening. Back screams when I move.

  25. Kris says:

    Damn. Get thee to a quackery then, hun, and get some elephant painkillers.

  26. Mumma J says:

    Great post Sissy…

    I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments.

    I'm with KZ…

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