Romany (romanyg) wrote,
Romany
romanyg

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Help! What do I do?

So I'm reading this fic by an author I don't personally know. She's one of the bigwigs in fandom. She's so frighteningly powerful, the feedback she's already received is full of licks and oohs and aahs and will you marry me's. I'm reading this fic, loving it, writhing under the sheer weight of her talent. And there it is, leaping up and slapping me in the face... An error. A grammatical error. Do I comment and point it out? No, I don't. This is LJ so I'm sure that whatever's posted is the rough cut. The bevy of betas are sure to catch it later. Right?

But I see them *all* the damn time. In almost *every* single piece that I read. Not only in LJ, but on the author sites as well. Beta'd. Posted. Archived. And *not* error free. And it's usually just little things, mostly of the "spellcheck is so not my friend" variety. But once in a while, I'll catch a cultural one. Like the other day, I read a piece by an author whose toenail clippings I am unfit to collect and she had Xander say something no American, at least no Californian, would say. It stuck out. Pulled me out of the moment with a big "huh". It was such a *tiny* thing, so subtle. Did I leave feedback pointing it out? No. Did I leave feedback of any kind? No, like I said, toenail clippings. Why would she want to read anything this snot-nosed new kid has to say?

Believe me, I'm not fit to beta anything. I'm the queen of the comma splice and the sentence fragment. I start sentences with connectives all the damn time. I never know whether to use a semi-colon or a hyphen. I'm not the quintessential authority on Spikespeak, Xanderspeak, Angelspeak, what-have-you. I haven't memorized dialogue. I've never seen a shooting script. I am not beta material. So if I, non-beta qualified me, can spot these errors, surely the others do too? And if nobody else says anything, who am I to do so?

But maybe it's like letting somebody walk around with a spot of mustard on their face. Nobody wants to embarrass them so nobody says anything.

I don't know. Tell me what to do. Please.
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