Forsaking All Others, 1934

Jeff, played by Clark Gable, comes home to find out that the woman he plans to marry is about to marry someone else. The happy couple and he were an inseparable trio growing up together. Now that it’s time to marry, Jeff wishes he hadn’t been away for so long.

Dill, played by Robert Montgomery, is doing what he should do… marry the woman who is in love with him. Mary, played by Joan Crawford, thinks Jeff has come to celebrate with her when she sees that he’s shown up for the wedding.

However, there’s another woman. When she shows up and gets her way, nobody’s happy. Jeff, being a gentleman, keeps quiet about his feelings. How can he correct such an awful mess? He has to wait for Mary to get over Dill before he can tell her the real reason he came back home.

Joan Crawford was in several movies with Clark Gable in the 1930s. She’s a powerhouse on the screen and needed to be paired with a man of considerable power. Clark Gable fit the bill.

Arthur Treacher played Dill’s butler in this film. He is known for being the perfect English butler in many films, and even played The Constable in Mary Poppins in 1964.

Director W.S. Van Dyke was known for consistently finishing films under budget. He directed Clark Gable in at least four films, but was known for his work with William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Continuous Noise

This month has been full of proofreading tips to help us all remember those words many of us don’t catch the first time through a paragraph. One more word I’d like to give attention to is continuous. There is a big difference between continual and continuous.

A continual murmur is the sound the crowd makes in a large room. It isn’t the same volume the whole time they’re in there. Most of the time the crowd noise starts with a few people visiting, so it’s a small hushed noise. It might break off and let a little silence in for a moment, but the noise usually starts up again. With most crowds, the noise gradually gets louder unless there is a distraction which causes people to stop and stare, stilling the noise for a bit. This is a continual noise. But it’s not continuous.

At night, I can stay up late and work in silence when everyone else is in bed. The only noise I hear is the refrigerator. I don’t even hear it running because it’s so easy to tune out the low hum of the motor. There isn’t a variation of volume like with a crowd noise. It’s constant. The sound is continuous.

I can understand why it’s easy for people to get these two words mixed up. But once you understand the differences between words with similar meanings, you are more able to use them correctly. These days it isn’t difficult for me to remember that continual means something continues over time with short breaks and continuous means uninterrupted.

If we wanted to create a journal of Top Ten Proofreading Tips, it might come in handy when editing that rough draft. I’ve listed seven words on this blog that we could include: its, lay, ensure, imply, you’re, discreet, and continuous.

Are you thinking of more words to include when you create your proofreading list? Yes? Good. Happy proofreading!

Correction Is Not For Fools

God gives us the ability to study and decide what is right and what is wrong. We have a conscience and a brain, which are awesome gifts from God. So we should use our gifts and abilities to grow into the people God designed us to be.

Proverbs 1:7 tells us “…fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Since we’re not fools, we can choose to study and find those treasures of wisdom, hidden by God for us to discover.

Look with me at the rest of the first seven verses of Proverbs on my devotional blog, Seek God With Me. We can look for wisdom as we seek God together.

Being Discreet

Sometimes when we rush through a message, we type too fast. The letters are all there, but in an odd order. I don’t know how many times I’ve typed “hte ” instead of “the”. I don’t know because the word automatically changes when I move on to the next word. Thanks, AutoCorrect!

But for words we don’t use all the time, we have to be on guard against misplacement of letters in a word.

This common problem affects how people read and understand our messages. One word that comes to mind in this confusing spelling mix-up is discreet. Since there is a double-e, it should be pretty easy to keep them together. However, even the easy words get misspelled. If the word comes out wrong, it usually looks like discrete. This is a problem because that is a word with a definition that’s not even close to discreet’s definition.

Discreet means judicious regarding conduct or speech, showing wisdom or discernment. Discrete means individually separate and distinct.

I’m sure you know other words which are butchered by rushing fingers. If we take the time to check our messages before sending them out, we’ll achieve successful communications more often.

Happy proofreading!

Elmer Gantry, 1960

Burt Lancaster plays Elmer Gantry, a traveling salesman who can slip into any role he chooses and use whatever means necessary to get what he wants. He can twist any situation to his favor. So he becomes a manipulative evangelist.

When Elmer Gantry finds Sister Sharon Falconer, a successful traveling preacher played by Jean Simmons, he sees his next challenge. She wants long-term success in spiritual things, but isn’t above temptation.

Shirley Jones won her only Academy Award playing prostitute Lulu Bains. The Bains character was so far from her other roles, the Oscar was proof to the world that she could really act.

This film, directed by Richard Brooks, received three Oscars: Best Actor in a Leading Role went to Burt Lancaster, Best Actress in a Supporting Role went to Shirley Jones, Best Writing in a Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium went to Richard Brooks.

You're Welcome

"Your Welcome!"

How many times have you sent or received a text or an email like that?

When my daughter sent me that message, I had to mention it to her. From anyone else, that message would’ve been understood, appreciated, and deleted. But because I’m still in the process of raising kids, I have to make sure they know to proofread before hitting Send.

They are old enough by now to know that a contraction is two words combined into one, with the appropriate use of an apostrophe. You’re is a contraction which means you are. Your is a word which shows you possess something. The possessive your is often used by mistake when people are too distracted and hurried to make sure they’ve put the apostrophe and the e in the right place. For instance: You’re wearing your shoes.

If one of my kids sends me a message like “Your Wonderful!”, sandwiched between two sentences thoroughly appreciating the second word would be a comment about the first word. “My wonderful what? ;) ”

Happy proofreading!

Receiving Correction

Jeremiah 5:3
LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.
Refused? Boy! Talk about determined!

People who refuse correction are either being corrected by someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or they’re being stubbornly arrogant. I can listen to correction from expert teachers, but I have a hard time being corrected by someone less experienced than I am.

What happens when your experienced teachers need correction? Should you give up or keep doing what you know is right?

On my devotional blog Seek God With Me, I’m looking at the idea of doing nothing wrong. Is it possible? Check it out and see.

Are You Implying I'm Wrong?

Some words we hear in conversation are not used correctly, but we accept them anyway because we don’t know them. And then we use them – incorrectly. It’s like a virus. It spreads from person to person until someone stands up for what’s right. And then you hear, “But everyone says it that way.”

If everyone is doing it, that doesn’t make it right.

Today I’d like to speak my mind about the difference between infer and imply. To infer is to receive information from a message or to guess information from a message. To imply is to put a suggestion into the message or send a suggestion without stating it directly.

The perspective of the two words is different. The person who infers is the listener. The person who implies is the speaker.

We infer, either correctly or incorrectly, a lot during conversations. You can say, “From what you’re saying, I gather you’re not going to the party.” You infer because of an assumption. The inference, based on what was spoken and paired with your prior understanding of the other person’s history, can be responded to by the other person by acknowledging its accuracy or inaccuracy.

We also imply things almost every day. Many times we’ll leave out information we thing the other person will understand if we don’t say it. If you take a test and go to the front of the room to turn it in, but the teacher looks it over, only to say, “You still have another fifteen minutes of class time.” And she hands it back to you. You know that teacher was implying that you’ll want to take another look at your test before turning it in. You can receive her message without her stating it directly. She was implying that she saw a wrong answer and wanted to give you a chance to correct your mistake. Sometimes we try to avoid a direct answer by using language that makes it clear without the possibility of our being quoted as saying it directly.

Both of these words remind us that we make judgments all the time in our conversations. Other people imply information, and we infer information from what they said. We can use each word properly and know that we’re putting effort into communicating well.

Happy proofreading!

Only Angels Have Wings, 1939

This film shows the risks taken by pilots flying the mail back and forth from island to island. They’re separated by mountains and ocean. The ship that drops off a mail bag also drops off Bonnie Lee, played by Jean Arthur. She doesn’t get back on it because she’s fascinated by Cary Grant, who plays Geoff Carter, the man who manages the pilots. He’s not interested in her or any other woman. Bonnie knows that means he was hurt by someone. When that someone comes to the airport as the wife of a pilot who wants a job, Geoff has to face his history.

The new pilot, Bat MacPherson, is ashamed of his reputation among the pilots because of his past, but doesn’t want his wife to know. He’s given all of the dangerous jobs: flying to places others deem too dangerous or flying in weather that is too stormy.

Geoff struggles to persevere through deaths of his pilots and financial woes. Bonnie sees Geoff’s character through the difficulties of his job and falls for him.

Richard Barthelmess plays Bat MacPherson, who is the husband of Judy MacPherson, played by Rita Hayworth. He was one of the thirty-six founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he only acted in three more films after this.

I also enjoyed Kid Dabb, played by Thomas Mitchell. He acted in 103 movies and TV series, notably as Gerald O’Hara in Gone with the Wind 1939, as Doc Boone in Stagecoach 1939, as Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life 1946, and as Mayor Henderson in High Noon 1952.

Director Howard Hawks made action-adventure films like Only Angels Have Wings and comedies like Bringing Up Baby, 1938. Cary Grant was in both of those.

To Ensure Your Word Is Right

My daughter came to ask my advice because she was going to be graded on an in-class essay. I reminded her of the literary devices she uses well. She’s young, but already has a signature style. But I also reminded her of the pitfalls to avoid. If she’s in a hurry, like most of us, spelling can be a problem.

When you are writing, spelling counts. One little letter changes the meaning of an entire sentence.

For example, ensure and insure are often used improperly. To ensure is to guarantee that something happens. To insure is to take out an insurance policy on something. You’ll have a hard time getting an insurance agent to help you wake up on time, but you can ensure that you wake up on time by setting an alarm clock.

One letter, the first letter of those two words, makes a big difference. There are other words like that pair, and we usually know which words we mix up most often. Taking the time to watch out for simple spelling errors will help make our message more readable and enjoyable.

Happy proofreading!

Being Teachable

This month, I’m sharing writing tips to help with our moments of proofreading. These writing tips will help us make appropriate changes so we can create a more understandable message. Receiving correction is something everyone does sooner or later. The movies I’ll review this month have characters who must accept correction before they can have a happy ending.

I know there are a lot of people out there who are doing a lot of instant messaging, texting, emailing, Facebooking, Tweeting, etc – and are not interested in checking for and correcting spelling errors. I understand texting and Tweeting with abbreviated versions of words because of limited space or time. However, longer messages like emails and Facebook posts can be more easily understood if the author of the message would do a simple proofread before sending.

We all know that everyone makes mistakes. I’ve made plenty of them. And since I don’t want to lose friends and annoy people in general, I’ve decided to not correct anyone’s spelling in those social media communities. But, really, don’t you get tired of seeing, “Your nice to!”

It’s actually pretty easy to change our spelling, punctuation, grammar, and word choice habits. But what’s more important is the message. In 1 Corinthians 13:1, we read, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” If people don’t understand the message because of poor proofreading, that can be fixed quickly. But if people read an error-free message and find it meaningless, we should start over and find something important to say before trying to be heard.

On my devotional blog, Seek God With Me, I’m spending a little time on choosing worthy words. Join me there and seek God with me today.

Chickens Don't Lie

I have spent years listening to people telling other people to “lay down”. I don’t often correct them. So for all of you who say that regularly, you really mean to say, “lie down.”

Lay is past tense. Lie is what you are telling someone to do in present tense.

When I was in school, my teacher told us to remember that chickens lay, people don’t. That was memorable for me. Now when I hear the lay/lie confusion, I picture a chicken laying an egg. I can’t stop the image. It just appears in my head as if urging me to correct the speaker.

Here’s another way to look at it. You can lay something down (as in “chickens lay”), or you can lie down by yourself.

I hope this helps clear up the confusion. Happy proofreading!

Wife VS Secretary, 1936

Clark Gable and Myna Loy are Van and Linda, a couple married only four years. His business takes him away with his secretary on a trip so secretive he doesn’t even tell his wife the truth. Of course, she can trust him to be faithful. Can’t she?

Jean Harlow, the original blonde bombshell, plays his secretary. This role gives her room to play it straight. She isn’t the scheming climber trying to breakup the boss’s marriage, but few believe the truth.

James Stewart is her boyfriend. If he won’t believe her who will? Stewart has a couple of very memorable scenes, one in particular in the car with Harlow.

I really enjoyed Harlow’s performance in this film. Although she worked well with James Stewart, she made five films with Clark Gable. According to, “She was the very first film actress to grace the cover of Life magazine in May 1937.”

This film was directed by Clarence Brown, who also directed National Velvet in 1944 and The Yearling in 1946. Along with Robert Altman and Alfred Hitchcock, he was nominated for best director at the Academy Awards five times without winning.

It's ITS

For me, September has always meant the first full month of school. And going back to school means putting effort into doing a better job of proofreading. It is so easy to become lazy during summer. We tend to forget spelling and punctuation rules while we’re in relaxation mode. So this month, I’m giving a few simple tips on stepping up our proofreading.

First, I’ll spend a little time on the use of apostrophes.

Which word do you use when you want to use a pronoun for an inanimate object which possesses something? For instance, the chair’s leg. The chair isn’t a he or a she. The chair is an it. The chair’s leg could also be written as its leg.

Too many people want to put an apostrophe in the word as if it were a proper name, like David’s leg or Terri’s leg. That would just be wrong.

When people scatter apostrophes through their writing, they need to take another look and realize that there are rules for using apostrophes. Yes, rules. And here are a few:

Use an apostrophe to show possession when using proper names, not pronouns. Susan’s chair was fixed today. Its legs are finally straight.

Do not use an apostrophe to show that a noun is plural. Wrong: The boat’s are in a race.

Use an apostrophe to combine two words into one contraction. She’s doing a fabulous job. I’ve already congratulated her.

Do not use an apostrophe by random selection just because you think it makes the word look prettier. Wrong: My balloon rise’s higher than your’s.

Does this help you?

Happy proofreading!