Being rather busy at the moment, I offered some guest blog post spots for people who had something to say about writing, reading, business, etc. (do feel free to contact me if you have something you’d like to write about that would fit in with the general themes of this blog). My friend, Gill Rose, has always been a stalwart supporter of Libro, hearing all about the business over a cuppa on Sunday afternoons. I already had it in mind to ask Gill to write something for me as she’s as keen on the English language as I am, so after she told me about her “romantic” break in Evesham which became somewhat … Libro-flavoured, I was thrilled when she wrote up her experiences for me. I suppose this is what happens when you’re friends with a proofreader, editor and blogger about language, although I feel the propensity was already there – Gill was, after all, the inspiration for my “fewer or less” post a while ago! Over to you, Gill!
I have always been a bit of an amateur proofreader. I’m the one who goes around correcting the grocers’ apostrophes on notices at work (at a university, no less!), and other examples of poor SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) are always picked up in the students’ work. So Liz and I are kindred spirits.
However, I hadn’t realised how bad it had got until my husband and I went on a short break in a lovely hotel just outside Evesham. This was courtesy of Groupon, a site which has saved me considerable sums of money recently. We thought it would be a good chance to talk to each other; not usually easy, given our busy lives.
When we arrived we had afternoon tea, and I mentioned Liz’s ‘troublesome pairs’ project. I knew John would be interested in this, as he finds the English language fascinating. Well – this turned out to be great for Liz (lots of pairs to get her teeth into) but not quite so good for me, given my plan to talk about other things. We spent the whole first evening discussing the project over a bottle of wine, working out suitable pairs to suggest. John is like a dog with a bone when he’s interested in something, and he was certainly interested in this. The entire few days were spent returning to this topic – while out walking, while (or do I mean ‘whilst’?) on the bus, while (or would ‘when’ be a better word?) looking around a church and at the breakfast/dinner table. We went off at tangents, and plumbed the depths of etymology and linguistics. My brain was buzzing; I certainly hadn’t anticipated this when first bringing up the topic.
It was an enjoyable break overall, but will now always be known in our house as ‘the troublesome pairs holiday’. Thanks, Liz!
Thanks for sharing your experience, Gill – does anyone else have tales to tell about being the friend of a proofreader (or dare I ask?)
September 2, 2011 at 10:14 am
Perhaps there is an opportunity for a new TV game show built around language!
Liz at Libro
September 2, 2011 at 10:25 am
Hm, maybe — one for someone who’s got a bit more time to develop that kind of thing, I think!