Your it’s.

UPDATE: The number one suggestion I got was to have a 2nd set of eyeballs look over every strip. That’s just not very plausible. Sometimes the strip needs to go up and nobody is available to proofread.

But someone did suggest reading my sentences backwards. That takes the sentence out of context and makes it harder for my brain to fill in what it THINKS it sees. I tried this on a couple strips and WOW. That really helps. I think that might improve things a lot for me.

Thanks for the tips, guys. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

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At some point in everyone’s life, they’ve been shown a paragraph and asked to count the number of times the letter “F” appears. We’re instructed to take as much time as we like. It’s a simple task, but inevitably the first time we’re given it, our brains can’t help but skip the word “of” because to our brains, that word has a “v” in it. Then the person giving you the test reveals you miscounted. Shows you why, and from that point on, you can force yourself to remember to count all the “F"s.

Imagine if every time you did it, you forgot about the “of” trick. That’s what it’s like for me with your/you’re and its/it’s.

Last night, I spent 15 minutes poring over the strip for August 19th, pronouncing out contractions into full sets of two words to make sure I was not putting a god-damned apostrophe where it didn’t belong. For every “can’t” I said “can not.” out loud as I read the strip. I want to make something perfectly clear: I understand the rules. I get when to use your and when to use you’re. I know plural and possessive. It’s in my brain. I’m taking my time and desperately trying to proofread my work.

But despite everything. My brain just gleefully skipped over the sentence “you’re gaming days are over.” I don’t understand what zen activity I need to do to clear my head so it can focus on the simple task of finding all the your/you’res in a sentence and checking them against grammar. Why am I not capable of this? Certainly there is some trick. Something taught between the 5th and 11th grade that I was too busy doodling to pay attention to learn. Someone knows a way to FORCE my brain to catch this stuff before it goes live. A pneumonic or a phonetic or hypnosis or Ritalin or an odd number of blows to the back of the head with a frying pan.

I was born with anosmia, which is a fancy way of saying I’ve never been able to smell. When I was in elementary school, scratch and sniff stickers were all the rage. Everyone had them and everyone traded and talked about their favorite stickers on the way to school. I for the life of me, could not figure out how to make my brain smell. For the longest time, I didn’t tell my parents I couldn’t smell because I thought it was something I wasn’t smart enough to do and that if they found out, I might be held back a year. I used to spend hours trying to learn how to smell.

That’s what this feels like.

Anyone got any ideas?