Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Re: Oh, I wasn't trying to "get" you


It is Bob. Like the paragraph where every word is misspelled except for the first and last letter -- and it is still perfectly readable. Our brains tell us in advance what to expect and it is why we often take the meaning of a particular sentence differently than what the writer thought he was saying. I can read something I wrote over and over and always miss one or two things that my wife can find in an instant. I simply gloss over that word -- it passes through my eye, my brain and registers as correct when in fact it was not correct. Only when I leave it for 24 hours or more and then come back and read it a second time will I have any chance of finding that error. Our ability to "see" everything that is in front of us is not 100% -- we miss things because our brains seem to filter stuff out. Why some things get filtered and others do not -- well that the curious part for me.

On Fri Jul 14, Bob Bridges wrote
>As I said, I do it increasingly often.  I'm just pondering the mechanism by which it may happen.  I don't buy it as a matter of grammar; it's not grammatical mistakes I see, either below or in my writing, but word substitutions—and words that are related not by key placement, nor (usually) by meaning, but by syllable count and the first letter or three.  Something is happening in the brain, but it isn't mere faulty understanding of the language; as you say, your writing is better now that ever.

>Curious, that's all; it's curious.

>On Thu Jul 13, Windguy wrote
>>Yes you have me Bob. I think it was more of trying to stay focused on what I was typing and not on the bigger picture -- editing and grammar and the like. I don't think it has anything to do with getting old -- I am better at writing now then when I was younger, but the grammar is always a problem. My wife, as a retired newspaper editor usually looks over my stuff but often I just wing it here on this site -- probably not the best idea!

>>On Thu Jul 13, Bob Bridges wrote
>>>Not the Grammar Nazi speaking this time:  As I get older I notice odd mistakes in my writing.  I can't call them typos—I still make those, where my finger skips a key or hits a key next to the one I meant.  Those we understand.  But when I proofread I sometimes find that I've typed an entirely different word from the one I intended, a homophone or one that rhymes or even something more different.  I can't blame those on my fingers; they typed exactly the word my brain sent them.  So I type "now" for "not" ("I am now trying to be insulting"), "acting" for "action" (the -ing and -ion endings have become especially treacherous for me these days), sometimes even "it's" for "its", which is just plain embarrassing.

>>>So Windguy, I'm pleased to see it's not just me.

>>>Is it advancing age, do you think?  Have I always done it and it just took me a while to notice it?  The happiest explanation is that as my mind takes on more and more knowledge, the risk of spontaneous cross-indexing increases.

>>>On Wed Jul 12, Windguy wrote
>>>>I am always amazed at the ignorance of reporters, especially when it comes to the interaction between Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Pilots. After reading the article it appears that our commercial aircraft are actually controlled and flown by people on the ground called air traffic controllers. That is simply and totally wrong. It is the pilots who both fly and control the aircraft. In this case the pilot would certainly have recognized that the "runway" (actually a taxiway) was filled with other aircraft and then realized his mistake, and taken the correct action -- called a "go around," where he simply elects to abort to landing and go around for another try.The pilot is not blind and sits in the front of the aircraft for a very good reason -- totally ignored by the reporter of this story.

>>>>Then again I guess a reporter who never flew in a cockpit with a pilot should be given some lee way -- or perhaps not since they should do their research before publishing?

>>>>Guess if there is no news we get to make up a possible story that could have happened. How about the pilot who landed on our local freeway a few miles away last week, when his engine quite right after takeoff from our local airport. ATC was little help, they don't have spare engines to through at the airplane and essentially its all of to the "pilot in command." This guy did the right thing and brought it down safely on the freeway with no injuries to anyone. That makes for a good news story -- or at least a factual one.

>>>> Tue Jul 11, Lee Shore wrote
>>>>>As bad as the destroyer and cargo ship colliding was, imagine if this collision had occurred.  Hats off to a sharp San Francisco Air Traffic Controller and pilots on the taxiway for catching this in time.


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