Archive for May 2014

Do Sweat the Small Stuff – Sometimes

May 13, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALots of people tell us not to sweat the small stuff, and to a certain extent, they are right. But there are times when paying attention to the small stuff is important to your success and even your well being. In saying “don’t sweat the small stuff,” most people are talking about the inconsequential areas, events, and pieces of our lives that are not really all that important and fall into the category of “this, too, shall pass.”

There are times when the seemingly small stuff can make all the difference. It is said that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Africa can eventually spawn a hurricane in the Atlantic. Flapping those tiny wings starts as small stuff.

What about the little dot called a period found at the end of a sentence? You can’t get much smaller than that, yet, if you don’t put it at the end of the sentence or you place it too soon. your sentence becomes either a run on sentence or a phrase. Either small mistake can render your attempt at constructing a proper sentence incorrect.

When the dot is part of a number, say a number that indicates your payment to someone, if the dot (in this case, it is a decimal point, of course) is in the wrong place, you could owe thousands of dollars instead of hundreds for the purchase you made.

Let’s look at the word “no.” It is truly a small word, but depending on the context, it could crush you. (No, that outfit does nothing for you.) Or it could save you. (No, you cannot play ball in the street.)

In the transcription business, we can’t afford the luxury of adhering to strictly to “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Detail is crucial and detail is often minutiae. If what we hear the customer say is not written the way it is said, the entire meaning of a sentence – even a document – could be changed.

Here are further examples:

  • Misuse of the words two, too, or to or any number of other words that could be mistakenly written and ultimately alter the meaning of the sentence.
  • Omitting an apostrophe when its needed to show possession.
  • Improper capitalization.
  • Incorrect spellings.

This is by no means a complete list, but I think you get the point. These are all seemingly small, but all could have an impact on the accuracy of a document.

Don’t unduly worry about inconsequential things or even big things that you have no control over. However, the bottom line is that the small stuff can truly be important. Even more important, is the ability to discern when it is just small stuff.

Be Exceptional!


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