Reading the ten typographic mistakes everyone makes at Christopher Phin’s Receding Hairline blog, brought back vivid — and occasionally painful — memories of editing copy at my University paper. In particular the vicious division in the comments to the article, between those urging Christopher to both keep up the fight, and to “get a life”.

See, the thing is that people who gravitate to jobs like editing copy or designing layouts at a weekly paper, working for peanuts — Joey’s pizza, actually — is that we’re obviously anal-retentive and naturally procedural. I think that this gravitational tendency to being correct and accurate actually helps me lose friends be attentive to the details while looking over show scripts or editing corporate messaging in videos. This dual need to be attentive to detail while looking for overarching patterns can only be developed through practice and use.

Actually, that article landed in my RSS feed at just the same time as I read an article in Today’s Parent about the loss of handwriting in Canada’s curriculum. In it, Helaine Becker points out that if we can’t express ourselves on paper with speed and more importantly without thinking about the act of writing, then it’s difficult to develop ideas as our memory is overrun with the act of writing and not the thought itself.

A raft of studies indicates that the process of learning to write properly builds an important skill called automaticity: the ability to write without having to think about each letter. Kids who don’t write with automaticity have to focus on forming letters instead of honing their ideas.Helaine Becker, Today’s Parent, January 2008

I wonder how often the input medium (computer keyboard, Bic pen or irritating cell-phone number pad) interferes or changes with the intended expression? I’m new to web posts in general and WordPress (the software underpinning this site) in specific, and I know that I’m constantly stopping mid-thought to see if something is going to appear how I intended. Well, I doubt I can blame Ms. Mackie, my second-grade teacher, for not running blogging drills in ’84.