I Sweat the Details

doughnutDuring Newhouse “boot camp,” the summer program before the official start of my master’s degree in journalism, the professors who taught news writing warned us that if they found a single fact error in one of our stories, the assignment would get an F.

Years later, I still make sure to double-check facts, names, numbers, URLs, etc., when I’m writing and editing. (With a last name like mine, I know the frustration of seeing your name spelled incorrectly.) I also have an eye for spotting typos and other mistakes, and I see them everywhere: menus, signs, ads, books, newspapers, etc.

I keep a running mental list of my grammar, spelling, and punctuation pet peeves, such as misplaced modifiers, incorrect parallel construction, and the grocer’s apostrophe.

I am fiercely loyal to the Oxford comma. Also, Save the Subjunctive!

I’m not a big fan of the term “grammar Nazi.” What would a good substitution be? Grammar geek? Grammar goddess? Star of Battlestar Grammactica? “An abnormal and malfunctioning human”? But I digress.

I am also one of the approximately 17 people who still use the spelling “doughnut,” and I have no plans of stopping.

NOTE: Despite my strong feelings about certain grammar conventions, I’ll certainly follow clients’ style guides without complaint (or at least, without any complaints that can be heard outside of my brain).