The Art of the Correction

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Image by Andy2Boyz via Flickr

I jokingly tell people that I’m meant to be an editor because I enjoy pointing out other people’s mistakes.  It makes me feel superior.

The truth is I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, and whenever I notice a mistake I’ve made, I cringe.  I generally tend to point out other people’s mistakes privately, and I try to make it a learning experience.

A blog I’ve recently started reading posted recently and used a word incorrectly.  This particularly word sounds very similar to what he/she wanted to say, but has the opposite meaning from what he/she was trying to convey.

This blogger doesn’t know me.  Since I’m not one to shout mistakes from the rooftops (unless I think you’re an ass and you deserve it), I sent the blogger an e-mail praising the site and then offering the correction.

It’s a little bit like telling someone their fly is unzipped.  It’s uncomfortable to tell them, but is it better to just say nothing?

I’m the sort of person that will pick lint off strangers in public.  I will tuck in tags.  I will pull them aside to mention the fly unzipped, or help someone who’s got her skirt tucked in her pantyhose.  It’s the right thing to do, and I would want someone to do it for me.

What would you do?

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