What I didn’t mean to say…

Picking up the quill

As we continue to be thwarted in our efforts to meet – we almost made it this week, planning to book a room for the first face-to-face meeting since March before the rule-of-six overtook us – we are trying to keep our spirits up and our brains engaged. We don’t want the ink to dry up in the ink-well or our quills to gather dust so we are setting challenges to follow at home and then share our findings online.

This month’s challenge is to find something that someone didn’t mean to say – and it’s surprising how often that happens. I have found three this week which escaped the eye of an editor:

The vacuum cleaner is fixed. The filter needed cleaning badly.

They watched as the boats went through the lock and enjoyed a picnic on the benches.

Police searched a property where the family lived at the weekend.

The idea is that if we, as writers, can spot the errors of others, we are more likely to pick up our own bloomers, so it’s READ, REREAD, READ ALOUD, READ TO OTHERS, ALLOW OTHERS TO READ OUR WORK.

The theory will now be tested.

Next month we may have a collection of bloomers to share with you – and hopefully, they won’t all be ours.

Join the Conversation


  1. No cheating and going onto those comma websites either, gang. I’ve researched on most of them (in the interests of “Where the Wild Winds Blow” and “A Following Wind”) and can recognise a “Let’s eat granny” steal at six feet (or two metres). I have a copy of “Eats, Shoots and Leaves,” and I’m not afraid to use it.


  2. Can you tell what needs changing in these sentences?

    She went over to the kettle, singing on the hob.
    Adam turned round in his seat.
    Peter could tell that John was excited by his loud voice.
    No dogs please. (Unfair! I’m sure mine do their best.)


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