Prompted by some of your comments, last Friday evening Crabby Old Lady re-read that day's post and even being home alone, she cringed. Big time. She was appalled and embarrassed at what she had published.
In one 700-word essay, Crabby found a minimum of five glaring errors. Let her show you:
AS PUBLISHED: As I of write here, the few news stories about elders, a large number are about those, even 80 and older, who climb mountains, jump out of airplanes, run marathons and otherwise outdo even much younger people at physical challenges.
What a horrible mess. First, that “As I of write here” should be “As I OFTEN write here”.
The rest is much worse. Here is rewrite that is not wildly wonderful but not as terrible as the original: “the few news stories about elders emphasize age 80-plus people who climb mountains, jump out of airplanes, run marathons and...”
It doesn't end there. Here's another which, like the first example, is a twofer:
AS PUBLISHED: What important today is that In many cases it is not just a preference, it is all we are capable of. On Wednesday, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, noting that “energy in an arc, and it bends over a lifetime toward depletion”, wrote...”
Where the hell is the “is” that should be second word? Worse, apparently Crabby typed the Frank Bruni quotation rather than copy and paste it so that part of the sentence should read, “noting that “energy IS an arc...”
(“Is” does seem to be a particular bete noire of Crabby's.)
Crabby always proof-reads her posts, sometimes more than once and she tries to do that after several hours have passed so that she comes to the copy with a relatively fresh eye. She often catches such errors as these but not this many at one go.
How did she miss them on Friday's story? Crabby has no idea.
When she first noticed all this on Friday, she thought to correct them but the post had been online most of the day and many people had read it so that didn't seem fair. Better to just let her errors stand.
What's amazing is how polite all of you, dear readers, are. Not one of you mentioned the mess Crabby made of a post she considered – and still does – one of the more important in her recent thinking about what it's like to grow old.
While Crabby was pondering all those errors – she found yet another in Saturday's post, in a headline: IS THE DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT EXPLAIN THE WIDE SUPPORT OF TRUMP?
Obviously the first word should be DOES.
Crabby doesn't recall that she made very many of these sorts of errors throughout the years and decades before now. So is this some quirk of an old brain, do you think? Or could it be that the media emphasis on Alzheimer's stories and drug advertising for that terrible disease has a lot of us – Crabby Old Lady, for example – wondering if these mistakes are signs of incipient dementia.
And Crabby isn't sure she even found all the errors in that Friday post. If you find others, please let her know in the comments. Also, is any of this familiar to you? Not just writing, necessarily, but other small things that creep into daily living?
As we all discover in time, it's hard to get old but there doesn't seem to be anything to do but get a laugh out of the parts that we can and move on.