Bloopers, Typos and Laughter

We’ve all heard the warning, check and double-check spelling, punctuation, and grammar before submitting a piece for publication, but … what can I say, mistakes happen to the best of us. 

If you’ve made a mistake recently, relax. Laughing at one’s self is a sign of maturity, or in some cases, getting ahead of the other guy.

"If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you." 
Groucho Marx                                                                         CLICK TO TWEET
"Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone..."
―Ella Wheeler Wilcox                                                      CLICK TO TWEET

So, kick back and have a good, old-fashioned belly laugh. It’s good for your health and good for the soul. As demonstrated by these wonderful church ladies with typewriters

I can’t take credit for finding these tidbits of laughter. I received them from a dear friend. I tried my to find their origination but was unsuccessful. I did manage to locate them in numerous other places on the net. Angelfire.com,  Beliefnet.comLotsofjokes.com, to name a few.

These Bloopers and Typos actually appeared in church bulletins or announced during church services.

    1. The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
    2. The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’
    3. The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’
    4. 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.
    5. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.
    6. Smile at someone who is hard to love.
    7. Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
    8. Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help.
    9. Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
    10. For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
    11. Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
    12. Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
    13. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’ Come early and listen to our choir practice.
    14. Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
    15. The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment, and gracious hostility.
    16. Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow.
    17. The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
    18. This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
    19. Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.
    20. The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
    21. Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
    22. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
    23. The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours!

Thanks to my friend Jo and all her friends for forwarding these on. I hoped you enjoyed them as much as I did and took them in the spirit they were intended, a good belly laugh and a gentle reminder – check and recheck. Typos happen to the brightest and the blessed of us. No pun intended.

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Where to Find Help for Your Grammar Sins

Do you have a grammar sin? One you find repeatedly in your writing? I do. I’ll confess. When I began my writing journey more than a year ago, I discovered a horrible truth.

I was a comma whore. I placed commas the way I spoke not according to accepted grammar rules. Even with a graduate degree in hand, I had  forgotten, over the years,  how to write a well-structured sentence. How humiliating! 

Once I realized the error of my ways, courtesy of my writer’s group, I took off  to the bookstore. It was time for a refresher course.  Strunk & White’s, The Elements of Style, was my first purchase. It is the number one grammar book recommended for writers everywhere. If you don’t have copy, pick one up.

Cover of

 In addition to Strunk & White,  I also found a number of software programs available online and easy to download. Bear in mind, while not perfect, they are excellent resources.  

The programs won’t do everything for you. They won’t complete your unfinished manuscript, but they will teach you a lot about grammar and editing.

Want to tighten your writing skills? Improve your grammar? Come on, confession is good for the writing soul….

Unburden yourself. Confess your grammar sins, then check out these wonderful editing tools.

Here, you’ll find some of my favorites, acquired along the way in my effort to shed my own grammar sin. I’m a work in progress.

AutoCrit  

  1. About: Is an easy online download book editor can manage from 400-100,000 words, depending on the membership you choose. 
  2. What it Does: The program analyzes your writing sample for the following: overused words, sentence variation, cliches & redundancies, repeated words & phrases, pacing, dialog, initial pronouns, readability and homonyms. 
  3. Cost/Membership: ranges from free which is word limited to fee based ($47-117/year).

My favorite of all the programs, I chose to pay the fee and have found that the benefits, for me, outweigh the cost.

Writer’s Diet Test       Is your writing flabby or lean?

  1. About: Designed by Helen Sword, this program evaluates writing samples of   100-1000 words.
  2. What it Does: each category: verbs, nouns, adjectives/ adverbs, prepositions, and waste words (is, that, this, there) is scored  from lean to heart attack zone 
  3. Cost/Membership:  A great, free tool!
  1.  About: Is a copy editor that helps refine your writing. A copy and paste Beta program, it is word limited.
  2. What it Does: Identifies common mistakes, such as adverbs, passive voice, weak words, ‘said’ replacements, ending with prepositions and often-misplaced words. 
  3. Cost/Membership: Free for the using. 

EditMinion is another good tool for identifying those pesky adverbs.

Grammarly  

  1. About: An automated proofreader and grammar coach. Windows compatible, it can be downloaded as an office add-in to your WordPerfect and used as an additional grammar tool. Grammarly is not fully compatible for Mac users; although Mac users can utilize the program by copying and pasting.
  2. What it Does: Checks writing samples for grammar, punctuation, writing style, and even plagiarism.  
  3. Cost/Membership:  $39.95  every 3 months.

Last but not least…

  1. About: A fantastic and fun site on teaching grammar to anyone.
  2. What it Does: Offers lessons, courses, free PDF books and ongoing emails on grammar from beginning to advanced. 
  3. Cost/Membership: Some books do have a fee, others are free for download. Please refer to the site. Sign up to receive bimonthly grammar quiz emails and challenge yourself. If you have children, keep this site bookmarked!

So, Do you have a hidden grammar sin? Do you want help? Check these software programs out and let me know what you think. Did they help you? Did the quality of your writing improve? Send me a well-written sentence and let me know how you’re doing.