Clearly, it’s been a while between blogs – much to my chagrin. This is, in part, due to the demands of work and family and, in part, my own mental lethargy. And while the latter is by no means a new phenomenon for me, some of its more recent manifestations are.
I speak here particularly of the type. Sorry, typo*.
Typos, grammatical errors and other such occurrences of this ilk are easy enough offences to commit; yet they remain utterly irritating to behold and generally cause someone/something to lower in one’s estimation as a result. My current copy of Game of Thrones for example; though a fantastic read, I cannot help but express an inherent snobbery toward the lax standards of proofing employed at Harper Voyager. And although it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the narrative per se (although frankly, it does), it heightens my awareness of the not-so-high-brow nature of the literature overall.
Having said that, a worrying trend is emerging in my professional behaviour wherein I seem to be inordinately predisposed to grammatical and spelling errors. Sometimes this can be put down to the simple fact that I use a keyboard relatively quickly but not correctly, so when I’m tired or have had too much coffee, my words often arrive on the page in a jumbled mess. A very common occurrence for example is:
when signing off an email. Transposing spaces is another frequent one, as in:
as opposed to:
Transposing prepositions is also a fave it seems – in rather than if. And so forth.
I recently sent out an electronic invitation to several hundred barristers and judges inviting them to A Dinner in Honour of Sir Noclias (Nicolas). Nothing honourable about that error, that’s for sure.
There are far more debilitating and professionally suicidal examples, but I think you get my point.
Perversely, one of the sources from which I draw an income is proofreading. Yes. That is correct. I recently had one of my papers returned to me with the comment “Willow, could you please ensure that your track changing comments do not contain spelling errors?”
It never used to be like this. My level of professionalism was far more pronounced. I suffered the occasional typo in the past, but no more than anyone else. In fact, I used to pride myself on my ability to avoid stupid mistakes. Now I seem to be drowning in them. So of course, rather than looking for the simple explanation (i.e. that I am tired or that working from home is in fact, totally distracting), I began to seriously entertain the possibility of late onset dyselxia – sorry, dyslexia -, early onset Alzheimer’s or whether I had in fact received any recent blows to the head.
I’ve said this before no doubt, but I intend to say it again. Having a child has caused my brain to rot. Irrevocably and irredeemably. I don’t care what alternate skills people may say having a child brings (an increased ability to multitask? pppfff!) or enhanced intuition a mother is supposed to develop; all I know is my brain has slid out my ear and slapped onto the dirty ground in a grey, spongey mess and whether it was subsequent stupidity or just tiredness, I failed to notice it was missing. Now I’m trying to rebuild it, infinitesimal fibre by infinitesimal fibre but it’s taking
I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get it back. Or if I even had it to begin with. Perhaps it is my lack of brain, fooling me into believing that something existed when it actually never did.
But then I also can’t help but wonder, is that really it? Has having a child really been that debilitating? It seems straightforward enough – demanding sure, but brain-rotting?
Perhaps I can’t blame the child for this one; the fault, I fear, my lay somewhere with me. Though the source of this mental interference remains mysteriously unsolved. Suffice to say I have developed an irrational fear of my desktop and the keyboard in particular.
Writing just got about a thousand times more challenging… dammit.
*That was a genuine typo; not done for literary effect.