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Voices from Field of Dreams

Two signs mark the entrances to the Field of D...

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Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies. I’ve seen it so many times I can quote most of it from memory. I can also quote One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish on command. I’m great fun at parties.

In the movie, the main character is plagued by a whispery voice making nonspecific demands. (I can plague people like this too. See Fun at parties above.)

In fact, there are two exchanges between the main characters (Ray and his wife Annie) that got me started thinking about today’s post. The first one happens shortly after Ray hears the voice for the first time.

RAY: “If you build it, he will come.”

ANNIE: If you build what, who will come?

RAY: He didn’t say.

ANNIE:  Ooh, I hate it when that happens.

The second exchange happens a little later in the movie:

RAY: He said, “Ease his pain.”

ANNIE: Ease whose pain?

RAY: I asked him. He wouldn’t tell me.

ANNIE: Shoeless Joe’s?

RAY: I don’t think so.

ANNIE: One of the other players?

RAY: I don’t think so.

ANNIE: Ray, this is a very nonspecific voice you have out there, and he’s starting to piss me off.

Like Annie, I hate not knowing who’s who and what’s what. It makes me cranky. So today’s post is actually a proofreading tip.

Use guides like the one from the writing center at Pasadena City College to clarify sentences. Then proofread with Annie in mind. Listen for the whispery nonspecific voice then send it back into the cornfield.


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