Confession: I once submitted a cover letter for a public relations job. I didn't get the job. My qualifications were great. I would have rocked the job, too. But I am pretty sure that the individual who happened to open the email containing my letter is probably still laughing even though this story took place about 9 years ago. After all, they were looking for someone with experience in public relations. I, however, had stated in the cover letter that I had experience in pubic relations.
Yuck it up, people. Yuck. It. Up.
I remembered this little incident when my dear friend Jeanne was helping my fix a few typos in my current manuscript and realized I wasn't sure which was more embarrassing. I had "they's" where "the's" should have been, dropped hyphens, missing "I's", and a crap-load of other insanely obvious mistakes that got by not only myself, but multiple reads by various trusted writer friends. Every time Jeanne pointed a new one out, I responded with a, "Seriously?" And then I would say something witty like, "This is why I was a reporter and not a copy editor." Because really? I probably would have been a better pubic relations specialist.
I am a self-admitted Typo Queen. My brain works faster than my fingers can type and because I know what I meant to write, I usually miss what actually made it to the page. I can catch Other People's typos easily. But my own? Say it with me, people: Pubic Relations.
The point to this little trip down my typo-ridden memory lane is this: Don't trust your own eyes. Beg, borrow, and bribe multiple people to read your work. (I promised Jeanne a bedazzled pony. She obviously liked the idea.) Then ask more people. Pay for a professional copy edit, if you feel the need and have the funds to spare. But by all means, remember that fresh eyes are a must.
This is something I seem to have forgotten from my days as a city editor at a little paper where we fancy-titled individuals wrote our stories, took our own photos, and laid out the paper every week. The rule was that we couldn't edit our own work and two different pairs of eyes had to sign off on each page before it was cleared to go. The other rule was that all pages had to be edited off screen because it's easier to miss mistakes when they aren't on the printed page.
Tonight's word-fixing session reminded me of all that. Which was nice, because I'd hate for a typo to get in the way of me and my dreams which involve finding an agent and getting a book deal and are in no way related to any career choices that involve anything pubic.
It's show and tell time. What's your favorite typo story?