Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

Carson Brackney: This is my primary site.

Ad Astra Traffic: Content production/article writing service.

Ad Astra Traffic Team: For those who'd like to get writing gigs with Ad Astra.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mood...And other errors that won't get you green squigglies...

I recently updated and revamped my website. Unfortunately, I did the project in a rush and immediately noticed a slew of errors that needed to be corrected.

With time running short, I hired someone to proofread my copy. It didn't cost me a fortune, and she did a great job (speedy, too).

Now, I have to make the changes, which I hope to do at some point today.

After reviewing my proofreader's fixes, I decided to take a moment to run my site text through Word. Interestingly, very few of the errors (and they are definitely errors) the proofreader found were isolated by Word's grammar check. This reminded me of how woefully inadequate the software is as a proofreader/editor.

I know. That's not a revelation. We are all aware that Word isn't up to task for that kind of thing.

In any case, it made me think about the most common error I see in web content (and probably elsewhere, too) that no word processor will catch. It passes by alot of human editors, too.


We tend to work from the indicative mood, but occasionally find ourselves in the subjunctive. Sometimes we should be writing in a subjunctive mood but don't do so. You can pull that off all day in Word without seeing a single green squiggly.

I decided to give myself a refresher course and found a nice little page outlining the mood issue and a few other common errors. Many of these are blunders Word will never spot. Most writers haven't actually formally studied grammar for a long time and might benefit from revisiting some of these topics, too.