Mistakes I Have Made

Why English? Why grammar? Why this blog?

I can think back to a few significant moments in my professional career that led me to this point. And, it’s only right to come clean, especially since I still do make mistakes (and there are a few of you out there who are willing to call me on them — thank you). Since I’m here dishing it out, I’ve got to be willing to take it.

One of the very earliest moments I can remember was when I was a very green intern (back in the day, “green” meant “untried”, not “environmentally conscious”), at a Fortune 50 company.  I was part of a small PR group, and they asked me to create a new brochure for the entire division. I salivated at the chance. Writing! Photography! Layout! I was in PR heaven. Not one of my fellow students had landed an internship that would give them this much experience and exposure. I was feeling pretty full of myself.

It took about a month, working on it full time, to get the brochure to the final proof stage. It really was a pretty brochure. There were lots of big, colorful photographs (I learned back then what a “bleed” was) and not too much copy; a few photo captions. I was so proud of my effort.

Then came the moment the boss’ secretary walked into my office holding the proof and asked, very sweetly, “How do you spell North Carolina?” So, I spelled it for her. She said, “Right. Too bad it’s wrong in the photo caption.”

I sat there, frozen. Oh no! There can’t be a mistake in the proof! “Let me see,” I said, totally in denial. But, there it was. North Carloina.

Sensing–probably more like smelling–my fear. she said, “Don’t worry about it, it’s only a proof. But be more careful next time.” She knew she had just schooled me in proofreading.

Everytime I think about that fine state, where I gathered many fond memories on the Outer Banks, I can’t help but think of it as North Carlo-ina. That mistake will follow me forever.

So that’s chapter one folks. Tune in next week for more!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Mistakes I Have Made

  1. Angela Sheets

    Well I must come clean, before our former co-workers do it for me here. My most public gaffe went to thousands around the world in our global management newsletter. I named someone a manager of “Pubic Affairs” instead of Public Affairs. There it was, in print. And no spell check would catch that one. Just to make sure, I changed my computer settings so that I would be notified any time I typed the word “pubic” in the future.

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