I can find anyone’s mistake.
When folks misuse an adjective as an adverb, I mentally add, “-ly!” Yes, I mentally add the exclamation point; cannot let it go.
When someone picks up the wrong fork for his salad, I have to concentrate on my own salad or I forget to eat it.
When a word is misspelled in a published book, I mark it, if it’s my own copy.
When clothing colors are a bad match, when a car needs detailing, when a hand print (or, worse, a nose-and-forehead print) appears on my storm door, I notice it all. (And I say “for-red”, not “for-head”.)
If you find plates upside-down at the beginning of the service line in a self-serve restaurant, I’m the one who did that. Those plates needed rewashing.
My kids can tell you: I’m precise about particulars. They learned how to diagram sentences. They learned to distinguish between the “i”, the “:”, and the “!” in math. They learned the new names of the new countries in eastern Europe. They learned to spell before I let them learn to type, which came before I let them learn to use our computer.
They learned to say “-ly!”, mentally, whenever appropriate.
I cannot imagine how stressful that must have been. I worry about it, although I always attempted to make learning fun and exciting.
In fact, one of my kids recently told me of his thankfulness at being forced to learn spelling and typing first.
Someone else was hunt-pecking at a keyboard, someone employed to sit there and hunt-peck. He told me of his astonishment and the difficulty he had in concentrating on his own business. Hmm.
I am training myself to let some of it go, though. Wish I’d trained my kids to do that, too. It’s heavy, all this noticing and editing of other peoples’ goofs. Sometimes I just smile and keep going.
After all, I can spot anyone’s mistake.
Anyone’s but mine.