Friday, February 12, 2016

Always Read Your Writing Aloud

Helpful Writing Tip No. 4,591 to Help You Avoid Looking Like A Moron: Read your work aloud and you might find the glaring mistake others can see but you can’t because, ahem, it’s too simple of a mistake for you to make.

Case in point: I fielded this question out at work this week:

sentence is fragmented, "boxes may stored on"

(Never mind the incompleteness of this comment, for it is immaterial.)

What matters is that when I replied, a little nonplussed, to the commenter via email, I still didn’t see the mistake. He called me and when I heard him read the sentence over the phone I realized I had a verb missing, viz:

“Boxes may be stored on . . . “

I hadn’t read the offending sentence out loud. I’d read it a dozen times and couldn’t see the mistake. But when it was read aloud, boy howdy did I hear it.

Our brains use different parts and sections when we write versus when we speak, and there are times and seasons when one of those parts will gloss over a mistake time and time again. It’ll be obvious we’ve made a mistake, however, when we use other parts of our brain on the same task. So read what you write, and you’ll be the better for it. Otherwise, you’re just trapped in a tiger trap by a tiger. And not even Tom Tuttle of Tacoma can stand that kind of humiliation.

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