I wish I were a bit better at proof-reading. Take, for instance, my recent post on Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I had initially started with this:
Among my reading projects for this year, I had meant to acquaint myself with the plays of Tennessee Williams, a dramatist with whose works I have never felt particularly comfortable.
On revising, I decided this wasn’t quite what I had meant to say: there is no reason, after all, to expect comfort from a work of literature. Quite the contrary: much of the finest literature challenges, and is distinctly uncomfortable. So I changed “comfortable” to “close”: I have never felt close to the plays of Tennessee Williams. However, I neglected to change “with” to “to”. As a consequence, I ended up with the utterly nonsensical sentence:
Among my reading projects for this year, I had meant to acquaint myself with the plays of Tennessee Williams, a dramatist with whose works I have never felt particularly close.
I have now spotted the error, and have corrected it. But not before it had already been up for a couple of days, with various readers no doubt thinking to themselves: “Why should I pay any attention to the literary judgements of some illiterate who can’t even string together a simple sentence?”
It’s a fair point. So may I just assure readers that I really am not really illiterate: merely slapdash!