Today, I found a comment at the end of my post about deferring judgment. It read:

“Is it too judgmental to note that in the U.S. “judgment” is the preferred spelling?”

OMG!!! The sign I had spent forever trying to make was spelled wrong (“judgment” is spelled correctly elsewhere in the post). It is NOT too judgmental to alert me to errors, as I rely on several friends to do; I am typ0-prone. But, there is a story behind the mistake, and as with many mistakes, some redemption.

Blogging ‘the improvised life’ means
…conceiving of posts…
…researching them…
…writing them…
…editing and proofreading them…
…finding or making the visuals…
…and getting them into the right form for the blog..
…and many many drafts and uploads…

All this one-man-band stuff can make for a kind of blindness. I thought that yesterday’s post would be pretty straightforward until I remembered that I had to make the sign “defer judgment”. Not being trained as a designer, in Photoshop or even Word’s design software, I set about to figure it out in a really roundabout, time-consuming process. (It clogs up this read – as it did my head – so I put it at the bottom of this post, for those who are curious about this sort of process). Finally, about 11:00 last night, I thought “that’s good enough”, completely blind to the errant E in ‘judgEment’.

The comment alerting me to the misspelling sent me back to correct it this afternoon. (I contemplated re-posting the sign with the E crossed out but couldn’t figure out how…) This time, something made me just try cutting-and-pasting words from a Word document right onto a layer of Photoshop; it was EASY. Coming at the problem with new eyes, and the trials-end-errors of the night before, taught me a lot: about technical stuff like software, about the process of designing, and about trying to do something ANYWAY, even though I’m not trained or an expert.

I’m with the guy on IDEO’s site who said “Don’t wait for perfection – launch and learn.” I did, and do.

So here is another ‘defer judgment’ sign, spelled the American way. Take your pick.

Related post: Tool for Improvising: Defer Judgment

[[Making the first misspelled ‘defer judgement’ sign involved making the sign in Word, then trying to figure out the right font, font size and colors (a can of worms…you should see the hot pink one that made the rest of the blog look murky and faded). Not knowing how to move a Word file into Photoshop, I made a tiff with Grab, then converted it to a jpg with Photoshop…then had to figure out how to get the words looking right since something messed them up in the process…then figure out how to  put a border around it…and what color border.  And that’s just the half of it.]]

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3 replies on “tool for improvising: embrace mistakes

  1. OMG! Are we ever going to break the tyranny of that Bible-thumping jingo-cretin Noah Webster? If he had been a total success, we wud all hav to bit our tungs whenevr we spok or speld.

    Yes, Webster is the anti-intellectual monster who took the “e” out of “judgement,” and left us with a wodge of consonants reminiscent of Lower Slobbovian. Let us embrace the Great Vowel Shift and say a resounding NO to Noah’s Consonantal Constipation!

    Seriously, these “superfluous” “e’s” and “h’s” are human artifacts, which allow linguists to trace and feel the origins of words, and of thoughts. Destroying such shards of the past is equivalent to building a shopping mall on an ancient burial ground.

  2. My English teacher in grade school was British and she taught us that “judgment” was the preferred British spelling.

  3. Agree – ‘judgement’ looks right, ‘judgment’ does not , also from a linguist’s point of view. So it seems like a natural ‘mistake’ .

    Less judgment is good though (maybe skipping the ‘e’ is a start ..)

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