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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

There’s no shame in the editing game

This article’s first rough draft; see how many mistakes I made?

As a student, aspiring author, published school journalist, and triple credit English taker this year, some would find it difficult to believe that I am terrible with grammar and spelling. I always took the lowest level spelling tests, had the most red pen marks on my rough drafts, and was never once confident in anything I scribbled in a notebook. 

Over the past few years of high school, I have observed an abundance of mistakes caused by classmates I always assumed knew the most about grammar. I assumed that the ones who were above me got perfect spelling scores and zipped through 500-page books, and they never faltered to earn perfection. 

But now—as I look at myself as a semi-professional writer—I have realized that almost everyone struggles with the English language in some way.

Now, it’s incredibly easy to say there are masters at it: those with higher degrees in literature, or the ones who write essays and analytical diagnostics using high-end word choice that screams knowledge and “smartness.” I don’t think that’s the case. 

I have had nine English teachers since fifth grade and never have I fully grasped an understanding of punctuation. Another thing to note is that none of those teachers were fluent in teaching straight-line English. Rules, structure, and all things that make one move their tongue in different directions are like learning an entirely new language.

In modern days, we all speak with high counts of grammatical mistakes. In other words, we shorten things, abbreviate them, and straight up change the meanings of most things we say. It’s the texting language that developed into an accent we all now contribute to and use every day.

All that being said, this means that no matter how masterful someone might be at English, they always make mistakes. 

Let me say that louder for the people in the back: We all make mistakes because it’s how we learn. 

No essay may ever be perfect or use all of the right flowery words, and it won’t even have all the types of literary devices and sentence structures. The good news is that others can help us catch those loose ends before it snags. And, even then, no crochet project can be truly tight and held together without a few wrong weaves. 

Society deems that we know all of the mistakes we could make and understand how each grammar rule is used, but as we grow and develop new things, slip-ups are bound to happen. 

Let me say that louder for the people in the back. We all make mistakes because it’s how we learn.

One of my biggest fixes to this solution is to examine the Google Docs editing system, making sure that no red or blue lines can be seen. To fit the words together, I read them until it satisfies the flow. 

Grammarly, the program that suggests and corrects on Docs, is also my best friend, and I have no shame in using it. It offers hints on what I can do to make my writing better, how to match a tone or direction, and even corrects my spelling mistakes. 

Sure, it’s technically the algorithms that go through my articles; however, in a modern age where codes and computers can keep the rules front and center, why would I bother learning literary devices when I can focus on keeping the cascade of ideas onto a page or screen? 

For the basics, school, and professionalism, it is very important to understand the English language on a technical level, but for writers like me and readers like you, we should have no guilt in using a free tool specifically given to us to help quicken and ease the job. 

Use the tools given, and know that even an aspiring author like me always needs a red mark to keep me on track. 

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About the Contributor
Mikayla Bush
Mikayla Bush, Staff Writer
Mikayla is a senior striving for a career in writing and artistry. She takes inspiration from books, media, nature, and even music. Camping, hiking, and running are all favorite pastimes of hers.  She also tries her darndest to deliver strong opinion-based pieces that prompt readers to question anything and everything and hope to even change some minds. What type of books does she want to write? Fantasy, sci-fi, dystopia. I can't read books accounting for the story of some average person. That's called asking a stranger for their life story. What is her favorite place to camp? A state park in the Upper Peninsula, McClain State Park, is just off the shore of Lake Superior. What's her favorite time of the year? Second fall, no not the first where it's still hot with a tiny bit of color. It needs to be cold enough that drinking hot apple cider is life-giving.

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