Okay, it’s like the third or fourth cloudy day in a row and I’m getting a little sick of it. I need Vitamin D, sunshine, something other than flat gray sky, endlessly. Honestly.

On my way to my office this morning, I stopped for a mocha at the Campus Y snack bar. As I was leaving, I passed a bulletin board covered with ads for everything from campus events to houses for rent. But there was a bright pink one, smack in the middle, that really caught my attention. It said:


I mean, really. Let’s think about this. Would you really entrust your teeth to someone who can’t even stop to use spellcheck for something they’re planning to put up in public AND make money from? What is that all about?

I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a spelling stickler. I blame my parents, who were both professors and would think nothing of editing anything I wrote, from a note saying I was next door to the grocery list. I remember after one Parents Night at my middle school, my father came home and knocked on my bedroom door. When I said come in, he held up the class schedule I’d had to fill up that day so he and my mom could find my classrooms, which he’d brought home with him. “How do you spell auditorium?” he asked me. Apparently, not how I’d written it on the schedule. And on and on.

Spellcheck is a great innovation, no doubt about it. I mean, it will, hopefully, catch bleeching. But there’s something to be said for proofreading, as well. I always tell my students a story to emphasize this about a story that was handed in to me a few semesters back. The author of the piece kept writing about “the clam before the storm,” meaning calm before the storm. Oops. (Actually, I liked this imagery even better, to be honest: can you just see that little clam, down on the bottom of the ocean floor, all happy before the storm? But I digress. )

Anyway. Excuse the rant, like I said. A bit of sunshine and I’ll be cheery as ever again. One thing that did make my day yesterday: all the folks writing in to tell me about themselves. It’s so amazing to me that people all over the country—and the world—check in to read this now and then. I really, really appreciate it.

have a good day everyone!