I’m a stickler for good spelling and clear communication. As a young girl, my dad would regularly direct me to the dictionary. As an adult, I frequently point out spelling errors to others, hoping they want to know. (Unfortunately, many don’t.)
There are exceptions to breaking the rules. Quoting someone verbatim comes to mind. Otherwise, it seems to me that readers deserve quality from nonfiction authors. (The same idea applies to any person in business, science and technology who needs to effectively communicate a message.) There are lots of websites and books that allow an individual to readily check spelling and grammar. I don’t always get it right but I try. After multiple edits, I typically ask a colleague or friend to review my final draft.
Along comes Mary Norris, the “New Yorker‘s Comma Queen.” In her lively and comedic TED Talk, she enthralls the audience with intriguing tales about punctuation, context and tense. Click here to access the short video and accompanying transcript. Click here to visit her website. After thrice listening to her speech, I realize there is much more to know. Writing, like anything worth doing, requires practice and discipline.