View Full Version : How do You strike through mistakes?

April 20th, 2015, 06:28 PM
As part of my classical elementary education in the Mississippi school system, I was routinely scolded for my writing.
My third grade teacher, in order to shame me, sent me with an early essay, back to my first grade teacher to show the evidence of her helplessness. I remember standing before her door having to pee, and then knocking, interrupting her class. After further defining that I was in third grade, and that she was no longer my teacher, she looked at the bloody page.

"Jim, this is fantastic! Lord knows, I never thought you were going to learn to write!"

I took the long way back to my third grade class, stopping for a New York spin on the lopsided merry-go-round.

As gruesome as it may be, this belongs to me:

I would like to know how you manage your strike-throughs. I tend to use a single line, as a bunch of scribbles seems to distract, while emphasizing my foolery with a nib. Please then, show me your grace.
Now that I've likely explained everything anyone could possibly be wondering about me, I should like to further understand the fundamental elements of long hand editing. My backspace finger is clearly missing.
The top end of classical form interests me, but I am more interested in the practical application, not the stuffy rule.

May I be excused now?

April 20th, 2015, 07:49 PM
We did another thread on this some time back, though I've no idea where it is or how it was titled. The long and short of it is that some do a single strikethrough, some attempt to insinuate the aberrant word into the proper one, some obliterate without embellishment, and others (myself included) obliterate and attempt to vitiate the offense with "artwork." Some turn the offense into a caterpillar or something else. I wrap up my undesirable words in curliques and draw "editing spiders" atop them.

April 20th, 2015, 07:54 PM
Well, when I'm writing letters to pen-pals I usually turn my strikethroughs into whimsical insects and caterpillars. It's more entertaing that way for both of us.

When I'm in the lab, all original elements must be retained so a single line strikethrough is the rule. Stuffy but practical.

April 20th, 2015, 07:59 PM

April 20th, 2015, 08:09 PM

Made me snort :D

If it's just one or two letters, I scribble over it and go on. If it's a word or a part of a word, one or two lines thru it and go on. That was the way things were done at the security company that I worked for until last April. Our logs were legal documents, and management told us they wanted to be able to read what it was that we lined out; strike out accordingly. Nowadays I'm not doing anything more important than friendly letters, so I don't see any reason to change my habits.

April 20th, 2015, 11:33 PM
I believe the "official" way to commit this sort of correction is one line striking through the entirety of the word and then wrap it in parentheses.

I usually resort to an attempt at "patching" the mistake somehow, generally making it worse and either carrying on or just strike it out and take my Mulligan.


April 20th, 2015, 11:58 PM
A couple of straight lines, not enough to obliterate what I wrote, but enough to show I'd changed my mind. If it's done at the time I'm writing, I just continue on. If it's done later, i.e. as I'm "copy-editing" the page, I try to put the revised word above the strike-through area. If there's no room, then I do the old editorial thing of putting a ^ next to the strike-through area, and then another ^ in the margin, where I write out the new words.

Or, I crumple up the page and just write it all over again. Depends on the day. :)

April 21st, 2015, 01:34 AM
spiders and caterpillars and trash cans, oh my!

I like them all, insects for friendly letters, trash can for unfriendly, and the Boston method for general philosophizing and doodaderie.


April 21st, 2015, 03:25 AM
In the UK nurses are trained to put a single line through and initial the mistake/correction so that the original is legible and the change can be traced to the individual.

Sometimes I have to stop myself putting my initials next to mistakes in letters to penpals.

April 21st, 2015, 07:58 PM
In the UK nurses are trained to put a single line through and initial the mistake/correction so that the original is legible and the change can be traced to the individual.

Sometimes I have to stop myself putting my initials next to mistakes in letters to penpals.

lol. I was an EMT for years, and it took a while for me to get out of the habit.

April 30th, 2015, 09:49 PM
I have always used a double line strike through... I can't remember where I picked that up from, but it was definitely taught to me... My grandmother was a trained secretary... is that where? Maybe my great grandad who was a steam engine driver... this will now haunt my dreams...

April 30th, 2015, 10:05 PM
A steam engine driver and a vintage secretary....so the tracks were always there, along with ink. At least the dreams will be cool.

It could well be that a double strike was all the rage back in the day. I find myself using a double strike often, it seems to relate to the line height, and now I'm writing with a big nib so the second line seems wanted. It's only my thought, but I like to think there is a threshold of distraction....if the strike leaves the word is still too present, then it can trip me in reading fluidly....sometimes I'll include a circle, making the whole thing rather abstract. No doubt I would have been reduced to philosophy-student-coffee-runner-intern somewhere in the second hour of a vintage office job. : )

April 30th, 2015, 10:58 PM
I just cross the word out and keep going. :P

Jon Szanto
April 30th, 2015, 11:37 PM

May 1st, 2015, 08:58 PM
With great violence...

June 29th, 2015, 07:26 AM
Looking at some work notes from this year, it looks like I don't have a consistent method for striking out mistakes. I see single and double line strikethroughs, some overwriting or squeezing in a correction, as well as the occasional scribble over (probably where an overwrite/squeeze messed it up even more). So I guess I do whatever seems sufficient at the time I'm writing. If it's something that needs to be 100% correct, like I'm writing something in calligraphy to give to someone else, a mistake there typically means throwing it out and starting over.

June 29th, 2015, 07:56 AM
I'm not sure what the question is? What is a mistake?

June 29th, 2015, 09:38 PM
In the nuclear power industry, it was a one line strike through and initial and date it. All in black ballpoint (sorry) ink.