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Story of a spelling mistake Answered

Hello all, today I have a tale of why you should proofread your Instructables... Or just laugh at the annoyed faces of grammar pendants as you watch Steven fry shame them

Now recently I made an instructable, it was named and "Breathe new life into an old computer" and being the grammar illiterate person I am, combined with the fact the article was written out of pure boredom, I misspelled the article title in two different places. Instead of "Breathe new life into an old computer" I wrote "Breath of new life into a old computer". The reason is, after writing the article, I felt the original title of "A breath of new life into a old computer" didn't really sound good. So I axed the A and called it a day (Rhyme not intended). It was late and without another thought I hit publish and eagerly awaited its appearance on the new ibles page. Nothing happened for 20 minutes, so I went to bed without a second thought. Maybe the database server just crashed or something :P

The next day, after a long day of school, I eagerly sit down at my computer and watch youtube... After enjoying at least a few hours of Pwediepie screaming at disfigured goats and Linus (attempting) to colour a $500 motherboard I decide to check my Instructables page. A few clicks to my current Instructables page and WOAH. I see the featured banner draped proudly across the front of my project. My eyes dart down, desperately looking for a view counter and then they find it, "10 thousand views!" I cry. My mouse cursor automatically clicks, my world in slow motion, I scroll down... 3 comments greet me. I just sit there, mouth wide open.

A crazy thought slams right into my face, my mouse cursor waddles over to the corner of the screen and suddenly the homepage sits there, my project stands in its little box, like an expensive toy, on display for all to see. My mind is racing, In disbelief. I look around, a hidden camera maybe, I shout upstairs to my brother "good prank". But all I hear is a surprised moan, "what?!" he shouts. 

It took me a few hours for anything, whether it be ME being featured, or the chicken I had for dinner, to sink in. But eventually it did and I took a some rotting fleshes advice, Keep Calm and Carrion. The last thing on my mind at this point was spell checking, no one in the comments had pointed anything out, and well... I couldn't see anything wrong. It's like that thing when you're looking for something in that horrific mess you call a fridge, after spending what seems like hours looking at every little detail you still can't find the butter. Then your girl friend, Wife or Mum comes along and after giving you a lecture on tidiness they find that one thing you're looking for instantly...

Anyway, I decide in the spirit of things I will go and enjoy some facebook, I take a trip to the Instructables facebook page and see my article, AWESOME! I open up the comments section and...

4The Pulpit Rock
Correcting my grammar
3The Pulpit Rock
Correcting more of my grammar
2The Pulpit Rock
I'm not an English professor
1The Pulpit Rock
Correcting my grammar
5The Pulpit Rock
Correcting my grammar
6The Pulpit Rock
Someone who doesn't understand that:
1. I am not American,
2. Americans are smart and awesome people
7The Pulpit Rock
Correcting my grammar
8The Pulpit Rock
Someone who uses such bad grammar that
I can't even figure out what they are saying  

Now at the sight of this I quickly ran back to my article and changed the picture and title, on facebook... It doesn't update. I have learned my lesson, proofread and double check your article, before you post! 

What can you take away from this?
What I have learnt: 

  • Theres no 'Be Nice' policy on the internet
  • Proofread your work!
  • Admins are humans and might not pick up on a spelling mistake

Write every ible like its the best one you have ever made, because you never know, your ible might be featured down the road and you will just wish that you double checked that title and fixed that little spelling mistake. Also dont ever use facebook because :( it dosnt update live :P lol

11 Replies

EvolvedAwesome (author)2015-03-22

Whoops, I think I broke something...

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seamster (author)EvolvedAwesome2015-03-22

I think you may have! I can't figure out what's up with this crazy formatting, but I'm guessing it has something to do with your images.

Regardless, I enjoyed this post! You've learned just as many of us have, that people on facebook are harsh, critical, and humorously revelatory of their own ignorance regarding this community.

It seems that most of them leave comments solely based on the image and title of the posts that our social team shares there, without ever coming to look at the actual instructable itself.

I always chuckle at the general assumptions that all instructables originate in the US, or that all authors are native English speakers, or that the admins here edit contributions from users. (We do not! Our editorial input is pretty much only how much promotion an item receives, as well as the ability to essentially hide content that is non-compliant with the Terms of Service or the "Be Nice" policy.)

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EvolvedAwesome (author)seamster2015-03-22

haha, yeah. I have yet to understand why the devs don't just use iframes, it would appear that I have put everything off balance with my buttons. Oh well... All in the name of you being able to press my buttons!

I think that this site is so great because of things like the be nice policy. It means that everything people say are either good or even better constructive. In some of the other 'realms' of the internet hate and pendantism fill the skies like clouds on a rainy day. Here I can make a silly mistake and the awesome community will help me out!

Anyway its quite funny to see these people, people who 99.9% of the time have no idea what the articles about, critique and check every nook and cranny like it's their job. What's even more funny is watching these rather pedantic people misspell and butcher sentences like theirs no tomorrow.

Have you ever looked into hiring editors? Just for articles that are front page / social media featured. That can just do a general check of the article. Or do you rely on the community to do that? 

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seamster (author)EvolvedAwesome2015-03-23

I can't really answer that, as I've only been on as staff for a short while.

But as a long-time user, I can say I appreciate the fact that something like that has never been implemented. I'm strongly opposed (personally) to the idea of someone poking around my content and altering it in anyway. Now from the staff side, I would certainly not want to try to fix all the spelling and grammar mistakes. That would never be feasible.

However, we try to review everything that comes in and will occasionally make suggestions to authors (usually through PM) if there are simple things they can tweak that might help the project get more views (like simplifying title, changing cover image, etc.)

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EvolvedAwesome (author)seamster2015-03-24

Fair enough... I agree with on one count, and that's that I don't really want others changing around my article. At any rate what you do is good, and I know you guys work hard to moderate this site and keep it at such a high standard. Thanks for the help, enjoy the patch :)

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makendo (author)seamster2015-03-22

Center your figures, center the whole page - impressive.

However bad the Facebook comments are, just don't look if your project ever makes the reddit or imgur frontpages... :)

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EvolvedAwesome (author)makendo2015-03-22

Haha, yeah. It would appear I defentially broke something. I don't think If I can be trusted with HTML... lol

Instructables has a Reddit subreddit and an imjur feed?!?!? Ahhh what has this world come to...

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makendo (author)EvolvedAwesome2015-03-23

I don't know that it does - I've just seen some my projects reposted there.

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ruudcreates (author)2015-03-23

I always say I started my study mechanical engineer because I'm horrible at grammar. So I'm sure I make at least one mistake in every paragraph I write. Lucky for you all I know how to use grammar check in Office Word and in Google Chrome. So most of them will be filtered out. Thank god we have a nice community.

But when I started reading this I though it was some kind of featered article, guess I was wrong. However it would be nice to see something like that once in a while.

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Haha, I have Grammarly on google chrome, it irons out most of my mistakes. But it doesn't always work, hence the above accident.

What do you mean by "I thought it was some kind of featured article"? lol can these forum topics even be featured?

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ruudcreates (author)ruudcreates2015-03-23

There I go, found a spelling mistake in my reply on spelling mistakes.

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