Human ingenuity never fails to amaze and amuse me. If there’s a buck to be made, someone will discover how. I’ve written many times about all the “entrepreneurs” who stand ready to help a writer part with his or her money. Most of the services offered are ineffective or writers can perform them for themselves. ( See blog 10/3/13)
Yesterday, I received an email that was questionable. The subject line told me the message was from someone called “Nick” and was purported to be an invitation to drop by for coffee the next time I was in San Francisco.
Curious, I clicked the “reply” icon and learned that Nick owned an internet editing service he was sure I couldn’t refuse. For $30 a month, a staffer would edit my blogs for punctuation, spelling and grammar. But wait! There’s more. If I signed up that day, I’d be eligible to receive a warning flag whenever I committed plagiarism.
As to the punctuation, spelling and grammar, I admit, though I have an M.A. in English and an MAT in the teaching of English, I do make errors. Usually, it’s a typo but sometimes I forget the rule about “that” and “which” and frankly, I’ve decided to ignore the rule. Whatever sounds right is good enough for me. But I am loathe to understand why anyone would think I needed a flag to tell me I’ve committed plagiarism. Plagiarism is, after all, a conscious decision to steal another person’s work. It’s not an act someone does unconsciously or out of ignorance, like typing “hippocrite” for “hypocrite” or calling Harper Lee, Lee Harper — both of which I’ve done to the delight of my sharp-eyed readers. No, plagiarism is a willful act and a shoddy one.
As I doubted I would be in San Francisco anytime soon, I declined Nick’s invitation to coffee by deleting his email. The truth is, I doubt Nick exists. He’s probably an avatar like Mrs. Sees or Betty Crocker. But if he is real, I’d like him to know that my readers are literate. When I make a snafu, they jump right in and tell me. I’m grateful to them. It means I can keep $30 a month in my pocket and buy my own coffee.
(Courtesy of theweek.com)