Early in my work experience, I had the fortune of having a boss whom I admired a lot.
She was diligent, putting more effort than anybody else in bringing about success to our projects, yet still finding time to brush up her skills and knowledge to stay ahead of me and our clients.
She was soft-spoken, but she knew how to get people to listen to her.
She was kind, riding coach with me on our way to clients so I could sit in business class with her on the way back and let me recover more quickly from exhaustive business trips.
But what I admired most about her was her humbleness in the additional step she took when sending e-mail messages in English: she would always take the time to spell-check. She had such an excellent control over the language, and as far as I know, I never once saw her spelling or grammar being corrected. Nonetheless, she kept checking. Always. And I am sure she still does to this date.
Why? I never found out from her the exact reason, but I think I know, especially now that I have started this blog. When I scribble, I become severely skeptic.
Maybe I am not conveying my thoughts in the right way – better check.
Maybe I am using language that is offensive or distasteful to others – better check!
Maybe I will inadvertently spark a discussion about a seemingly unrelated issue – better check!!
Next thing I know, I too am clicking the spell-check button. It is not so much about checking the spelling or grammar any more, but about checking to see if I have written what I really want in the way I really want. It gives me a moment to reflect one last time while the spell-check runs. I am pretty sure I will keep checking. Always. As long as I scribble.
Maybe you call this self-censorship? Maybe I call it extra care.