double dare: write proper english under pressure!

it's its is it? pink

Recently, I got a second email from a reader who was clearly disturbed by my many mixups of ITS and IT’S. She tried to be nice about it, encouraging me to Blog On! after quoting the snippy but illuminating Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation:

The confusion of the possessive “its” (no apostrophe) with the contractive “it’s” (with the apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of  illiteracy and sets off a simple Pavlovian “kill” response in the average stickler.

I KNOW the difference between it’s and its. ! I just move too fast and have way too much on my plate publishing three times a day to not catch every typo. I am editor-in-chief, photo editor, writer, copy editor, production assistant, designer…I work under pressure. Sometimes, I get blind. I opt to make mistakes publicly rather than not publish at all. (End of rant)

Soon after that email arrived, I stumbled on the great online challenge: You Can’t Write Proper English Under Pressure. Click on the link and press PLAY to find out how well you spot typos and grammar errors …under ….pressure………

You can't write English Under Pressure


Okay, smarty pants. See how you do!  (;


Related post: ‘fail better’ (samuel beckett)


6 Responses to double dare: write proper english under pressure!

  1. Samuel P. Marchbanks, LLD 09.13.2013 at 10:36am #

    Faugh! Your faithful grammarian is right! I just took five levels of the typo test and past 100%! Da troot iz its chust az hard to right correct az it iz 2 rite wrong. Ever heerd of: be in the moment!?

  2. sillygirl 09.13.2013 at 11:13am #

    I have to confess I just write it is because when I write in a hurry I don’t remember which one it is!

  3. azita 09.13.2013 at 3:53pm #

    As long as it does not fall into the “would of” or “could of” category (which is like nails on chalkboard to my delicate sensibilities & drives me NUTS) I’m not critical when reading things online.

    Typos happen to good people too! 🙂

  4. Melissa 09.14.2013 at 1:13pm #

    I used to be a proofreader and after a few years of that I decided to give up punctuation because who cares anyway? So much fuss. I personally dont bother with it. see? But I don’t (oops)have a blog so no one gives me sh*t for it!

    I never care about typos on blogs but if I see them in a published book! that is a no no.

  5. Sally 09.15.2013 at 11:37pm #

    Good trick!

  6. Sally 09.15.2013 at 11:38pm #

    I know a man who could not stand it if a girl friend could not spell… drove him crazy. I woudnt be like that (:

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