I have an unusual hobby. I collect signs! No, I don’t steal stop signs at intersections. Nor do I pilfer them from stores, but I do collect their messages (and sometimes take photos). One of my favorites says:
Not a very appetizing advertisement, is it? (Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera with me that day!)
And a while back I laughed when I snapped this photo in a grocery store:
Only one aisle with nutritional food? Makes you wonder what the other shelves contain, doesn’t it?
But while errors like the ones I’ve shown can be amusing, they’re not so funny when they appear in books. When an author writes “reign” (what kings and queens do) instead of “rein” (leather straps attached to a horse’s bridle), I’m jarred out of the story and have completely left the world that the author worked so hard to create. That also goes for peddle (sell) and pedal (what you do on a bicycle), and a host of other common goofs. We all make mistakes, of course, and homonyms are especially hard to catch, but …
Is it just me? Do grammatical and spelling errors bother you? Or do you notice them at all?
Are these errors a sign that we have become too reliant on grammar check and spell check?
Sandra Nachlinger is the author of Bluebonnets for Elly (a sweet romance) and
co-author with Sandra Allen of I.O.U. Sex (a spicy Baby Boomer romance).