Nobody proofreads, anymore!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by ruralchild, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. ruralchild

    ruralchild Out Of The Brooder

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    Our local newspaper is always full of typos, misspellings, lousy grammar, sentence structure that doesn't make any sense, and other errors. They misspell people's names -- even names of people they know. A story on page one will end in the middle of a sentence, with a continuation line at the bottom directing you to the page where it supposedly resumes. You get to that page and the rest of the story isn't there.

    I used to work as a typesetter for a large newspaper publisher and printing house. We had a proofreading department that went over all the galleys with a fine-toothed comb, marked the errors they found, and sent them back to typesetters to correct. Only when error-free did the galleys go on to paste-up. That was before desktop publishing took hold.

    Today, it seems, very few people bother to proofread or edit. The newspaper staff in our town seems to take little pride in its work. I once offered my services as a proofreader, and they blew me off.

    Even expensive hardcover books have mistakes in them that never would have appeared years ago!

    My surname ends in a silent w. When it's pronounced, all anyone hears is the "o". When I write it out or spell it verbally, I always include the w. Yet, it's constantly getting misspelled, even when they know it has a w! If I dare correct them, they get offended.

    Is this just laziness? Or indifference? I don't know about the rest of you, but I want my name spelled correctly, especially after I inform the writer how to spell it.

    People just don't care, anymore!

    End of rant.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  2. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    Yes. We have gotten lazy.
    I am too lazy to go get my glasses, and I and mistype or misspell things, I hit periods when I mean to hit commas.
    Also, we depend on our computers to check both our grammar and spelling.
    And sometimes, I forget to click on those buttons.

    Most times, when something does get through, It is because I can not see what the suggested change is; I assume It is proper and I will get 'trough' instead of 'through' and I make less sense than if I just let it remain misspelled.

    I do not get paid to play on BYC, so It is not as ...disappointing (?) as commercial writing.
    We do have an expectation of professionals to be professional. I understand your frustration.

    And I think on a forum such as this one. if we allow such little things to annoy us, then we will miss out on making some really good friends. There are real problems that people are dealing with out there.
    were we're, There, their, and they're are not worth getting in a knot about.

    I had a friend who insisted that I kept misspelling THEIR. He kept saying, "I before E!"
    I might be evil... but I let him keep on thinking that. So if he is one of the people that bothers you, I am to blame for that.
     
  3. ruralchild

    ruralchild Out Of The Brooder

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    I was referring to professionals who charge money for the books and other publications they sell, or who run stories with people's names in them but misspell those names even when they're told the correct spelling. To me, that's just disrespectful. When I spell out my name for someone and they still get it wrong, that tells me they aren't listening or they just don't care. If they aren't sure, they should ask, and I'll spell it again for them.

    Most people value their names, and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect those responsible for public media to care enough to spell them right. Especially when they know that one's friends and neighbors are going to see those names in print. It can be downright embarrassing to have them misspelled.

    When I pay $15, $20 or more for a hardcover book, I expect every page in it to be perfect. That's part of what I'm paying for, in addition to whatever information is in the book, which I also expect to be accurate.

    Ditto for when I subscribe to a newspaper or magazine.

    I think the advent of desktop publishing has made people careless. It has gotten to be so easy and convenient that sloppiness is just overlooked. It's a matter of taking pride in one's work, and I would think a publisher or printing firm would value its reputation enough to ensure the highest quality possible.

    It only takes a few minutes to double-check one's work and make needed corrections. Occasionally, something will still slip through, but when errors are excessive, that's just slipshod.

    No excuse for it, in my opinion.
     
  4. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in your camp RC and I'm a technical writer by trade. At one job I would drive the developers crazy by calling out all the spelling errors and such on the pages of the software I was documenting for them. I told them that from a customer's perspective if they can't handle the little things correctly how can the customer have any confidence that they did things correctly behind the scenes and in the code. Their boss shared the opinion. The developers grumbled about it but they understood the reasoning.

    Even in personal communications it can have an huge impact on other people's first impressions of the writer. Grammar and spelling may be minor things but I see them as indicative of a person's habits, character, etc. Because, yes, little things matter.
     
  5. iawoodchip

    iawoodchip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Professionally I agree, but as far as for BYC, not so much. On this site we're communicating internationally, with young kids, and under educated people including myself. BYC is a learning tool for all of us... Jim
     
  6. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    I home schooled my son for eight years. One of the math programs was a state run virtual school.
    He had a math problem as an example that worked out to 3=0
    I called them up and said that it needed to be corrected. They told me that it was too late to make corrections that the program was already launched.
    [​IMG]
    ....and that is why we homed schooled.


    I think text messaging is the downward spiral of acceptability. U C wht I mn?

    My son went to a college seminar of Princeton, Virginia, and Yale.
    The one thing that they all stressed was when writing college application essays, do not use text messaging.
    It is not the place. Capitalize the word "I". Maybe their friends do not care, but when you apply to Princeton, Do it correctly or not at all.

    My son was floored that anyone would be so lazy as to not spell out words and capitalize letters when applying for college.

    On the other hand, I reread this a dozen times ( I can't mess up on this post ) and had written 'there' instead of 'their'. I finally caught it, but perhaps that is why you need fresh eyes and someone else needs to do the proofing.
     
  7. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Even on forums like this, proper grammar and spelling are important. You say that "On this site we're communicating internationally, with young kids, and under educated people including myself. BYC is a learning tool for all of us... Jim". Well, how are those people supposed to learn the proper way if they never see it? ;) And who says the learning has to be limited to chickens and other fowl?

    As for the ease with which errors can slip by us, there is a technique I learned MANY years ago called "Five Pass Editing". I don't have the notes from the class with me but basically one goes through five times. Each time looking for something different. ie spelling on one pass, punctuation on the next pass, sentence structure on the next, etc.

    One doesn't have to be as formal in their writing style on most forums but, as with anything else, if one is going to do something then one should do it right. :D
     
  8. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree.

    I even find the logically impossible to be offensive. "Sally made time to read the Wall Street Journal".
     
  9. iawoodchip

    iawoodchip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with learning to do it right if possible. My point is there's a lot of folks that use this site that don't have the English language perfected. If there's a way I can communicate and help, I will. Using the best grammar and spelling that I can.
     
  10. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you remember the movie about Dizzy Dean? There was an effort on the part of the school teachers to force him to resign his baseball announcer position because of his poor grammar. Dizzy was still announcing when I was a boy.
     

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