When we were in the first year of university, there was this course in the Communications Department in which students had to read Nigerian national dailies and spot grammatical errors. For many of my friends taking the course for the first time, it was a great surprise to them to learn that Nigerian newspapers make grave grammatical errors everyday in their editorials, opinion and even education pages. Yesterday I had another one of those crazy moments of panic when I found out one of my own errors. My heart flew into my mouth and I feel almost like disappearing into the ground. I had been reading through one of the last posts on this page, when I spotted a sentence. The process was always the same: I’ll be reading through a line I’d read through very many times before without having seen anything, then something would strike me, I’ll look at it again, and see the error. And my heart would begin to race.
What I had written while composing the post at the time was “I greeted you…” then I remember going back to change it to “I used to greet you…”. But as it turned out, I had forgotten to remove the “–ed” at the back of the “greet” so the sentence read “I used to greeted you…”* Oh my!
I hate it when that happens, and it does a lot because writing a blogpost is always and trial and error thing. One would write something, publish it and then discover an error. One would correct it, publish, and see another. Sometimes I never see it until very many days later. Some I never see at all, and I have sometimes wondered how many new visitors had spotted it and gone with the first impression: “Oh, what an idiot.”
It’s not always funny when I think about it though. I spot errors easily in other people’s writings, even without looking for them, but not in mine. How does that happen? Is it a writer’s disease? (And has it had gotten worse since I took on Wole Soyinka’s play? Haha!) According to George Carlin, the reason why a writer would never commit suicide is that s/he would most likely spend the whole day, and following weeks, trying to write a perfect suicide note, and would never be satisfied with the wordings. Maybe Carlin was right, or not, but I know that he surely didn’t have a blog in mind.
Oh, how I miss the good old days when my dedicated editors Tayo, Yemi and Zainab used to read the posts before anyone else did. The point of this post is to apologise in advance for all past and future errors :). Maybe I should now throw my editor position available. Anyone wants to apply? Perfect candidate: an insomniac. Remuneration: US gold quarters 😉