I will prove it to you! I am facing one of my biggest weaknesses head on!

Dear Readers,
I have never in my life until know expressed a real interest in the English, or Spanish grammar, but that is all about to change.  You see, I was all about numbers, math, sciences, etc… I did love the creativity that required being a great writer of novels and poems, but it really never overcame my passion for numbers, computers, and athletics.  I taught the rules were too simple and at that time in my life I wanted to learn about string theory, general relativity,  and about the universe. I was trying to get some insight through numbers about why I was here on this Earth. I failed. I know this is funny, but  I actually was able to put my mind at rest with these ideas through studying a bit of theology. So far in my life I have had so many people correct my spelling errors, and my fast written email. The truth is that my grammar is not too bad (not great either), but since I cared more about getting stuff done quickly, I really didn’t care too much about the people that were nit-picky about every little spelling error when these were obvious typos.  You see as an engineer I always understood that sometimes it is better to have a product launched at 90% completion rather than 100%, because you can beat your competition to the market. You see this with video games, movies, operating systems, etc…Anyways while this is true I will tell you the story my mother told me once about Jose Marti a very famous Cuban writer, poet, and national hero of the Cuban Independence War.
Jose Marti was a very bright man who loved Cuba, and loved to write. He wrote some of the best masterpieces ever in Latin-American history and started even a  literary movements that traveled all around the world (but don’t quote me on that please).  He was truly brilliant and I have read many of his literary pieces in college. Anyways Jose Marti had a wound according to my mother, which could  never heal  and was very painful. To ease the pain in the late 1800’s the best medicine at the time seem to be good old fashioned rum or whiskey.  Therefore Marti would be seen many times drunk here and there and many people criticized him and tried to taint many of this man’s merits for the country. Let me tell you that this man even though he was very skinny, and of small stature died fighting in battle, this was a fighting poets my friends (Marti had that on Edgar Allan Poe ).
Anyways tired of his critics he replied to them one day in Spanish (excuse my translation):

“ The grateful look at the sunshine of the sun and the light that it provides to all living creatures,  but the ungrateful will concentrate on the smallest of shadows casted by the smallest of plants”

I never forgot this quote, even though I don’t know how certain it is. It was a story passed down to me. Nevertheless stories don’t need to necessarily be all completely true to teach us a great lesson.
The truth is that in the world we live in we want to minimize the things people can count against us. It may be an accent; it may be your grammar, etc… Not only because we should be on a constant path of self-improvement, but because it will cost business in the long run. Hey, I don’t  like that people are nit-picky about such little things. I mean languages change every year and new words are added due to the constantly changing technological evolution, but I didn’t create this world, I just try to win by the rules that it imposes on us.
Here is a great backhanded compliment from one of my closest friends and mentors that never left my mind:

“Roberto, you are the best copywriter that I know, that can’t spell”

That is just awesome. The main reason why I am writing this column today is because the world can disregard the best of ideas, content, marketing, etc… just because of a few typos and poorly written sentences.

I want to end this column with something I read today from a magazine. It said :

“ A letter with spelling errors send to a person is like being dirty and wearing brand new clothes”

I thought this was pretty insightful.

Roberto Torralbas


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46 Comments   -   I will prove it to you! I am facing one . .

  1. Roberto, I enjoy your writings and insightfulness regardless of your misspellings. I am guilty of overlooking a comment or article if it has too many errors because it is distracting. However, if within a few sentences, the content shows a sign of intelligence in the part of the writer, I will continue to read it. I can’t speak for anyone, but I think this is the approach of most intelligent people wanting to enhance their mind and learn.

    I am sometimes very astonished to see how good your grammer is considering that you did not learn English until much later in your life.

    I realize it can get very annoying when people nit-pick at your grammer when what you are trying to do is get a point across. I felt the same way when I started to write in Spanish, but it made my Spanish grammer so much better when people corrected me, and now I welcome people to correct me.

    Because I saw the improvement in my Spanish writing, I feel I’m doing a service by correcting someone so they can learn from their mistakes. Some people see it as being rude or stuck up when you correct them, so sometimes I do ask if it is ok to correct them.

    I can understand your point that as long as you get the information out, let the minor typos and errors slide. However, many people, when it comes to grammer are perfectionist and hate to see errors. It is a huge distraction to a grammer perfectonist.

    Your insightfulness strength surpasses any writing weakness, so keep it coming.

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