Enchantment Learning & Living Blog

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How to Kill a Typo

First, you have to root them out.

They are very good at hiding.  A typo is like a splinter or a thorn that wriggles deeper into your skin as you poke and prod it with tweezers--or pen tip.  And where there is one, you know there must be others just beyond your sight (these beasts travel in packs).  So be merciless, regardless of the casualties.  

Their favorite trick is to hide in plain sight.  They know all your weaknesses too--like your tired eyes. Or your desire to just get the damned thing done.  Even your hope (faint and foolish as it is) that just this once, you wrote something that doesn't need editing.  You spun straw into strands of sunlight--but no.  Perhaps you should take that last part out?  Best not to get carried away with metaphors.  And anyway, it means fewer words for those bastard typos to hide behind. Scratch that--fewer words for those bastard typos to hide behind.  They see all of this and perhaps your biggest weakness of all: you see what you want to see.  Your eyes read past the form that should be from because you want it that way.  And they love you for it.  

But here's the good news:  once you find these pesky literary rodents, they can't be unseen. You'll find the best way to discover them is by clicking send or publish.  Watch how these black marks outshine every sterling piece of prose when they think your work is out of your hands.  Typos love an audience.  The bigger, the better.

That is their one weakness, this showmanship.  The moment they are most vulnerable is when the curtain is drawn and they can preen for all the world to see.  Still, it would be wise not to underestimate them.  They will try to plead and bargain with you, arguing that their presence is a sign of your humanity--your perfect imperfection.  But don't listen to them.  Gather your words and let them be your strength.  Let your stories turn on those impostors hiding beneath your hard-worked worlds.   Let them devour the little beasts that would infest your carefully built ink-grown realm.  

Let them feast on the unnecessary comma, sucking it up like a strand of spaghetti and swallowing the excessive o's in one fat gulp.  And if there is anything left of these diseases bred from consonants and vowels, let your pen do the rest.  Strike them out.  Tear them from the page.  Snuff out their life like the weeds they are.

Then bury the fibrous leftover limbs in the slush heap with all of your other abandoned prose. Every good garden needs a compost.  

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