Knowing that I absolutely adore and regularly share pictures of signs with typos and awkward grammar on Grammar Chic’s Facebook page, my mom recently forwarded to me a very funny email that showcased the bloopers and typos delivered by church ladies in the bulletins they composed to their congregations. Since I got a laugh, I figured that this might also give you a chuckle or two and be a break from my normal posts about content marketing, resumes, press releases, and the like. (I suppose we can take a grammar lesson or two away from the sentences listed below.) I would also love to know which ones are your favorites! (I highlighted mine.)
Some Very Funny Church Lady Typos:
- The fasting and prayer conference includes meals.
- The sermon this morning: “Jesus walks on the water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”
- Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
- Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say “hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
- Don’t let worry kill you off—let the church help.
- Miss Charlene Mason sang “I will not pass this way again,” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
- For those of you have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
- Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
- Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
- A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
- At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.
- Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
- Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
- Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
- The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
- Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00p.m.—prayer and medication to follow.
- The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
- This evening at 7pm there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
- Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10am. All ladies are invited to lunch in the fellowship hall after the B.S. is done.
- The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
- Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7pm. Please use the back door. (I think this one is the best!)
- The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7pm. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
- Weight Watchers will meet at 7pm at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
- The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours!”
Some of these bloopers were so funny, I cried, and it also brought back a fond memory of when I was about ten years old and helped my mom write out place cards for a church dinner. In the process, I had happily (and unintentionally) renamed one of the church choir members “Clearance” (His name was Clarence). Of course, it wasn’t noticed until the minister was handing out the place cards, announcing each one as he went (and this became a running joke for some time because of moi).
The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.
One of the biggest challenges to any writer, outside of committing their work to paper, is finalizing it. Indeed, with the popularity of self-publishing ever on the rise, it is the role of the editor that has suddenly been heralded.
Considering my own experience as both a writer and an editor, I agree that it can be incredibly challenging to fill these roles simultaneously. Moreover, it’s something that I definitely don’t recommend doing. If you are going to self-publish, I highly recommend enlisting the help of a third party to both edit and then proofread your work (and again, these two roles should not necessarily be held by the same person). Having an extra set of eyes on your work is more or less a rule to live by, regardless of if you are a would-be author, a business pro, or even an academic submitting a thesis. Simply put, you are too close to your work to do it all.
Now, even with that disclaimer in place, there are some ways to edit your own writing, if only to improve the draft that you are working on while you wait to bring another person into the fold. Here are some helpful tips:
- Fight the urge to edit while you are still in the process of writing. You have probably heard this before, but it’s important in the scheme of things. Even though it’s probably hard to adhere to, I must urge you to not go back and rewrite or delete entire sentences and paragraphs on your first draft. You are only making it harder on yourself if you do. If you must edit while you write, stick to correcting typos or figuring out a new way to start a sentence to avoid repetition.
- Take a break when you are done writing. Much can be said about setting your work aside for a day or two or three before you start revising it yourself. Of course, this means that you have to plan for extra time in your schedule (especially if you are on a deadline). However, by doing this you are able to look at your work with fresh eyes and you will be able to identify where there are holes or inconsistencies, as well as if there are any other problems with flow or style.
- Read the work in a different format. What I mean by this is remove your work from the computer that you have been creating the piece on. For something as simple as a blog post, this might mean printing it to read on paper, or even uploading it to a preview area on your blog so you can see what it would like in its final format. For a manuscript, try converting the document to PDF and reading it on a tablet or e-reader. When you do this you will be able to see problems that you weren’t aware of when it was in its native file.
- Structure and content editing come first. Many times a writer will begin their own editing process by polishing individual sentences, or line editing. When you do this, you avoid the big picture. Instead, consider your work and think about if there are parts of the piece that are too advanced for the story, go off on a tangent or even if there is something missing. Ultimately, major changes need to happen before you begin line editing.
- Realize you have to implement a chopping block. The majority of writers out there have the tendency to say too much; therefore, a good target to go after when it comes to trimming down your work is 10 percent. Look out for repeated points or thoughts and unnecessary phrases like, “It’s my opinion.” Another thing to look out for: adjectives that are not required to get the point across. For instance, “Sarah inquired softly” can be changed to, “Sarah whispered.”
- Don’t rely too heavily on spell check. Yes, run your work through spell check, but don’t expect this tool to catch everything. A computer can’t tell the difference between homophones, or words that are spelled differently but sound the same, such as which and witch. Also, always look out for words like effect vs. affect and there, their and they’re (a personal pet peeve of mine) while also realizing that sometimes Word might come up with some really crazy suggestions about its and it’s, which are not necessarily right.
- Read slowly and aloud. It’s incredibly difficult to proofread your own work and I will tell you that even professional editors and proofreaders are not immune to making mistakes. A handy trick I employ when proofreading is to read aloud slowly when I am working on a final draft. As adult readers, our brains have the ability to read ahead and work faster than our eyes. This means that we are not necessarily reading every word that is on a page. On the flip side, when you read aloud and process each word slowly, you are more apt to pick up on mistakes, as well as awkward, clumsy or repetitive words. Case in point, I was working on a children’s book, each page had maybe three or four lines of text in a 20 point font or so. Even though I had read this book several hundred times, I never realized that there was an extra word on one of the pages until a five year old, who was reading aloud, pointed it out to me! Talk about from the mouths of babes! So when proofreading, keep this lesson in mind: read like a five-year-old. I guarantee you will find your mistakes!
In closing, while editing your own writing is not necessarily easy, it is possible. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of perfecting your work, I invite you to reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. for help. Contact us at 803-831-7444 or visit www.grammarchic.net right now.
As editors, we get to work with a variety of authors that are looking to polish their work and publish their books. Recently, Grammar Chic, Inc. had the pleasure of working with Dr. Yvonne Corppetts, a speaker, author, and educator that specializes in motivating others to fulfill their potential. Her goal? To help people live life as best as they can.
Dr. Yvonne Corppetts’ new book, Take Charge for Major Success: A Guide to Living Your Best Life, is a tool that she has added to her motivational arsenal. Published by Manassas, Virginia-based EDGE Publishing Company, Dr. Corppetts has developed the content of the book through truths she has learned from both her education and her personal experience. Dr. Corppetts guides readers through the task of understanding who they really are, pinpointing what they want in life, achieving major success, overcoming challenges, and freeing themselves of people and situations that present obstacles to their well-being.
Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. Corppetts has grown her brand quickly. Between speaking at events, working on her book, consulting with a variety of organizations, and making appearances, she has made the time to develop a new blog, which is scheduled to be launched next month.
To learn more about Dr. Yvonne Corppetts and the positive impact she has had on her community, and the many people who have attended her events and read her book, visit her website.
For many writers, the option to self-publish is highly attractive. Traditional publishing houses are very selective and the process of sending out query letters and waiting for a response can seem overwhelming. While the self-publishing industry has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years, writers should be wary about which company they choose to work with. A common trend with self-publishers has been emerging, one that forgoes quality for quantity and is seemingly focused only on the monetary gains of the publishing industry, not the literary value of its products.
The biggest problem with self-publishing is that most self-publishing companies do not have proper quality management controls in place. Editing has become an optional task, not a given part of the process, and as a result many manuscripts are sent to print laden with grammatical errors, plot inconsistencies and typos. This has given self-publishing a bad rap, as many see it as a sub par version of traditional print publications. While this attitude should not be accurate, the failure of both writers and self-publishers to ensure the quality of their product has resulted in a less than perfect reputation for the industry.
Regardless, self-publishing can be a useful tool for many authors as long as they have their work appropriately edited and ensure that their manuscripts are polished and complete before sending them to print. Many people will refuse to read or review a book that is self-published due to this unfortunate reputation that the industry has gained. But if authors take the time to ensure the quality of the work this reputation can be turned around and self-published authors who produce great books can be recognized.
Grammar Chic, Inc. encourages all writers to have their work professionally edited. Remember your book is part of your legacy; make it shine!
Al Baird grew up fishing the North Carolina coast and to this day remains loyal to its many piers. When his family first started their annual vacations to the coast, Jennette’s Pier was their location of choice. Since then, Al has been casting his line over piers regularly and has made it his mission to ensure that other kids have the opportunity to experience the same tranquil yet exciting interaction with both nature and other fishing enthusiasts. As the founder of the North Carolina Fishing Pier Society, Al has done massive amounts of research in his efforts to preserve the piers along the North Carolina coast and to get people excited about pier fishing. His new book, North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers: From Kitty Hawk to Sunset Beach, chronicles the dangers the piers have faced over the years and shares the triumphs of many fisherman, young and old, who have held their own against the waters of the Atlantic and taken home their prize.
Published by The History Press, North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers will be released to the public in March of 2011. The History Press is a publishing house located in Charleston, South Carolina, and we here at Grammar Chic, Inc. are delighted that such a great press recognized Al’s wonderful work.
Grammar Chic, Inc. is excited about the upcoming release of North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers and is so proud of Al Baird for the success he has achieved. Congratulations, Al!
One of the most important things you need to have when sending your work to a potential publisher is a polished and professionally edited manuscript. This will provide you with the advantage of being able to include in your query letter that you have had your work reviewed by a professional editor and that you can readily provide samples if the publisher is interested.
Publishers love getting work that is already polished for two reasons. First, it gives them a sense of what the final product could be like. Second, while the majority of publishing houses will still put your manuscript through their own editing process to fit the requirements and look of their own catalogue, it decreases the amount of time it will take to publish the work. Grammatical and spelling errors will distract the publisher from what your manuscript is trying to say. An unorganized or undeveloped manuscript is difficult to read and most publishers will not take the time to sort through it.
Valerie Lumley, our author of the month, was picked up by EDGE Publishing Company after presenting a very well edited manuscript. She took the time to remove the majority of grammatical and spelling errors and the manuscript was very well thought out. Her book, Curing Chronic Fibromyalgia, is a wonderful success story of a polished manuscript making it into the hands of the right publisher at the right time.
When you have finished your manuscript and are ready to send out query letters, let Grammar Chic, Inc. professionally edit your work, bettering your chances and helping lead you towards literary success and accomplishment.