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November 21, 2009
Grammar and Proofreading Challenge

Have you ever received a text message with a sentence that reads something like, “I cant wait to here youre great news!” and suddenly your good news isn’t so exciting any more? You’d rather focus your attention on the multiple punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes in your friend’s text. They’re so annoying!

In this article, starting with the second paragraph, I’ve inserted a total of 10 word choice or punctuation mistakes. Now that you’ve mastered proofreading text messages, try your hand at catching the errors in this text.

Lets get back to that great news of yours. Do you take time each day to recognize good news? Treat yourself to this type of positive mental boost. There’s a lot of negativity in the world and people like to spread negativity. This is your way of fighting back. You’ll open yourself up to more positive experiences if you focus on the appealing aspects of your daily existence. It’s amazing what great ideas and inspiration come to you if your simply open to it.

Write down at least one good thing or one item that you’re thankful for each day. The glass-half-empty-skeptic often immediately objects to this exercise. “It’s tedious. I don’t have time for that, and it’s not going to change anything” becomes his argument. I call it an excuse. If one assumes that nothing is going to change, he is making as much of a prediction about the future as the starry-eyed dreamer who assumes that something will change. Let’s be appreciative, not psychics.

Keeping a “good things” list prevents negativity from shaking your confidence. It’s a tangible reminder that no matter how terrible a “bad day” may be, there are enjoyable parts of your life. At the end of the weak you’ll be able to reflect on happy events. It’s difficult to say that you had a “bad week” if you have actually written down words that contradict this thought.

Writing down positive ideas also helps alleviate writers block in the future. Go back to any mundane though that you’ve written down if you’re feeling stuck. These random scribbles can lead to interesting topics to explore. If I’m feeling inarticulate, I like to write down the lyrics to on of my favorite songs or a song that I happen to be listening to at that moment. Work that I admire inspires me. Feed off of other’s creativity; don’t get discouraged by negativity.

Start small and realize that life is what you make of it. Your attitude plays more of part of what you life is like than actual circumstances, puzzling as they may be.

For some, proofreading is like solving a puzzle. I’m happy to provide puzzles for those with an eye for detail. So, take a deep breathe and count to 10 the next time you are upset about your friends grammar mistake. Perhaps your ability to use proper grammar and syntax will go on your “good things” list.

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Stefanie Flaxman corrects business, marketing, and educational documents in 24 hours. She’s a writing consultant and the founder of Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services. Check out her free report and subscribe to Small Business Writing Consultant Blog to get free business writing advice. Don’t forget to say hello on Twitter!

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