We have to see that we’re a part of each other, and we have to take care of each other. The reason why they have universal health care in Canada and Britain, these other places? Because they believe if one suffers, everybody suffers.—Michael Moore
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.—Helen Keller
You are only free when you realize you belong no place—you belong every place.
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.—Simone Weil
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.—Paulo Coelho, from The Alchemist
When I’m too big to hold, I’ll hold you instead.—Ashlyn, age 5
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.—Toni Morrison
As you can imagine, during my 20+ years working as a copy editor and proofreader, I’ve come across a lot of typos and spelling errors. Here are a few of the most common mistakes and some tips on how to avoid them:
“It’s” vs. “its.” This one can be confusing, not to mention challenging to remember, because we’re so used to using an apostrophe to indicate the possessive. In this case, “it’s” is the contraction of “it is” and “its” is the possessive. So when you’re reviewing your copy, ask yourself if you mean “it is” or the possessive. Examples: It’s too bad she wasn’t able to come out tonight. The tree was at least 10 years old, and this was the first time its leaves had fallen in October.
Using “weary” when you mean “wary.” Believe it or not, I’ve seen this one a number of times. “Weary” (tired) being used when the writer means “wary” (cautious, suspicious, on one’s guard). A good way to remember this is “wary” rhymes with “scary”—and both have similar spellings. Examples: They were weary from travelling, so they stopped for a coffee and a snack. They were wary of their luggage getting lost, so they arranged to take carry-on.
“Then” and “than.” “Then” refers to a specific time, or introduces something that happens next. “Than” introduces a second element in a comparison. Are you talking about when (which also rhymes with “then” and has similar spellings) something happened or are you comparing things? Examples: We stopped for a coffee then continued on our journey. This trip was a lot more fun than the last trip we took.
That’s all for now. As always, it’s good to have someone—preferably a professional proofreader or copy editor—check your work before you hit Send or Print on that document.
Cathy (Cate) McKim is a storyteller with the soul of a cowbell—direct, succinct and whimsical. Through tight editing, powerful writing and a voice that keeps people listening, delivers words that captivate, engage and inspire. Cathy is also the creator and editor of one of Toronto’s most popular arts blogs, . What can she do for you?
Grief starts to become indulgent, and it doesn’t serve anyone, and it’s painful. But if you transform it into remembrance, then you’re magnifying the person you lost and also giving something of that person to other people, so they can experience something of that person.—Patti Smith