I recently quit the correcting game and stopped correcting people out loud when they made mistakes. SuperGenius David Boles suggested that I should write down the errors and blog about them since stoppering them internally would do me no good. Without further ado, please enjoy the following corrections — For The Record…

For the record, you cannot use the same “to be” word with single and plural items. For example: “I was walking down the street” is correct. “We was walking down the street” is not correct. “There is a lemon in the cart” is correct. “There is three lemons in the cart” is not correct.

For the record, the world population had not exceeded seven billion as of 2008. Therefore, there cannot be nine billion people in China.

For the record, Twitter gives you 140 characters. That means that you can fully spell out all of the words in your update if they fit in that span. “Positive lk minded ppl attract positive lk minded ppl. The high u feel from being w/those who lift others is amzing.” is 116 characters. “Positive like minded people attract positive like minded people. The high you feel from being with those who lift others is amazing.” is 132 and looks considerably better.

For the record, the correct thing to do when initiating a phone call is to make some sort of greeting. “Good evening. May I speak with Ronald?” is correct. “Is Ronald there?” is not correct for two reasons, one of which is that you are only asking if the person is there and not that you are interested in speaking with the person.

For the record, you should make an attempt to pronounce the names and words of other countries correctly and not just laugh it off, saying that you are an American and say it the American way. This is particularly the case if you are a restaurant advertising filet mignon and are butchering the pronunciation — pun very much intended.

For the record, the sidewalk is not a giant trashcan. It is not correct behavior to just drop whatever you are holding there, hoping that someone will come after you and pick it up.

For the record, using a lot of commas does not make it okay to create a paragraph long run on sentence. If you have a new and separate thought, you should start a new sentence.

Next week, more correction — For The Record…


  1. I love this new series, Gordon! It is a lot of fun and we can all learn so much.

    Is it difficult to keep these corrections to yourself each week?

    Do you make mental notes or do you write down these mistakes as they happen?

    1. David,

      I made the mistake of only keeping mental notes. There are so many I know I have forgotten. I will have to take real notes!

      It’s not too difficult to keep from correcting people except, of course, some of the more silly ones — like how could I not tell someone that there can’t be nine billion people in China?

Comments are closed.