I should never re-read my posts a day or two after they’re published.  Invariably, I find something wrong and just have to go back and edit what, to me, is a glaring error, or I won’t sleep well at night!  Ok, so maybe it’s not quite that bad, but I will sit here and fidget if I don’t fix the problem!

It wouldn’t be quite so annoying if I only did it to my own work, but these days, I find that anything I read gets the same treatment. 

(This could well be another of my infamous ADHD posts.  My brain has changed topics at least four times while I was putting my contacts in to better see what I’m typing!)

So back to the topic of uncontrollable editing..  As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I tend to pick apart everything I read these days, from the dialogue to the writing style, but this tendency gets especially obnoxious when I’m just trying to enjoy a good read, and a grammatical error pops up, or worse, a typographical one!  I want to tell my brain “Really????  You can’t just let me enjoy the story without nit picking the technicalities?”

It’s not as if I was an English major in college, or even something loosely related, like Journalism.  No, I was, after several false starts, an Accounting major, for heavens’ sake!  We deal in numbers, theories and regulations!  Although we don’t tend to suffer the challenges with regard to writing that you often find in Engineers and Mathematicians, grammar is not our first concern (OK, maybe if you’re a CPA writing endless letters of opinion and such, but most of us don’t need to be so particular).  Admittedly, I’ve always enjoyed writing and, except for one year of Honor’s English when my mind was elsewhere, have always aced my English classes, especially when writing was involved.  In fact, it surprised me when I scored higher in Math than English on the SAT’s!

But again, I digress.   SQUIRREL!!!

Sadly, my computer does not seem to be able to keep up with my multi tasking brain.  As I attempt to order some vitamins my local store has not had in stock lately, update my GPS for a trip into the wilds of Topanga tonight and open another browser tab to bring up Dictionary.com for today’s English lesson, I’m experiencing temporary freezes, frightening in their similarity to my increasingly frequent “brain farts”.

In searching for “editor” the definition was predominantly, “one who edits” so I tried “edit” instead, and found:

ed·it

[ed-it] Show IPA

verb (used with object)

1.to supervise or direct the preparation of (a newspaper, magazine, book, etc.); serve as editor of; direct the editorial policies of.

2. to collect, prepare, and arrange (materials) for publication.

3. to revise or correct, as a manuscript.

4.to expunge; eliminate (often followed by out  ): The author has edited out all references to his own family.

5.to add (usually followed by in  ). 

My brain, it seems, likes to randomly perform the third definition of editing and has even been known to cringe when chancing upon blatant misuse of the person the writer is using in a sentence (one of my biggest flaws), misuse of homonyms or *gasp* “alot” when the writer really means “a lot”.  
I can accept that I don’t like seeing errors on my own published work, but to come to a full stop when I’m reading for pleasure?  Seriously????
So I ask you, good readers, is there a way to turn off this editorial function in the brain when the reading is for pleasure, or even for content, but not for grammar, spelling, phrasing or any other editorial function?  It’s become extremely annoying!
I must add, at this point, that my function at work does include a certain amount of editing as, in addition to crunching numbers, I’m part of the proposal team, so this ability does have a certain amount of value.  It just needs to be directed to appropriate avenues and leave materials which have already been edited, approved and published alone, regardless of anything which might have snuck past the editor’s pen! 

It seems that I’m not alone in suffering this editorial malady.  Chatting with my daughter while driving to a dinner party today, I discovered that she is also guilty of mentally editing what she reads (and if anything, she reads even more than I do!)

So I’ll put it to my readers:  Do you mentally pick books apart while you’re reading them?  Do you question why a writer put things a certain way or ask what possessed them to use such grammatically awkward phrasing?  Do you catch typos, spelling errors and missed or misused punctuation marks?  

If you do any or all of these things, fear not.  They don’t make you a redneck! 🙂

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for friends, old and new.
2. I am grateful for being challenged to try, not only new recipes, but new ingredients as well!
3. I am grateful for opportunities to step outside my comfort zone.
4. I am grateful for animals who love you just because you skritch them or slip them a little food.
5. I am grateful for the simple things in life, and the time to appreciate them.

Love and light.

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