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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Earth needs editors

When Computers Edit

Lately I’ve been irritated by newspaper web sites that use a program to cut story teasers to length. As often as not, they make the cut after a period that doesn’t end a sentence.

Hell's BBC

VOICE OVER (GROWLING): There’s a new BBC, and it’s kickin’ ass…

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Earth needs editors

Dates subject to change (and utter inaccuracy)

SJSU duh

The SJSU website is so full of broken links and bad information, it’s hard to pick just one mistake to highlight. On this one page alone, we can see that in order to delete a class entirely, you must drop it almost three months before the class begins — in fact, you must drop it before you could possibly register.

On the other hand, if you wait 92 years to drop, you’re going to be screwed. Consider yourself warned.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Earth needs editors

High? Wasted!

American Apparel duh

Forget the lack of a hyphen. This is just a really unfortunate misspelling of high-waisted shorts in a banner ad from American Apparel. See what happens when you leave the copy editing to a bunch of unitards?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Earth needs editors

Kwanzaa conflagration

Bergen Record duh

I guess the word blaze is a judgment call, but are they really on a roof? And is that kid a firefighter? Didn’t think so.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Earth needs editors

Dude, seriously.

Try as I might to not let other people’s bad editing bother me, certain mistakes still fill me with rage. In this space, I vent that rage without pestering anyone who happens to be nearby. Feel free to skip this entry and come back later for more photos.

Santa Cruz Sentinel

OK, first thing: If you can’t distinguish between your and you’re, you have no business working on any publication of any type. I don’t mean to be harsh, and you’re probably a fine person with other great skills, but if its and it’s trip you up, find something else to do.

Yahoo “News”

Oh, and this one! Temperature … rising! Blood … boiling!
Must! … Correct! … Headline!

There’s nothing like people writing down clichés and spelling them in way that displays an utter lack of understanding of the phrase. Like the “for all intensive purposes” people. You might skate by with that crap in conversation, but write “bears all” when describing a tell-all book, and you’ve proven yourself to be a boob.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Earth needs editors

Even newspapers need editors. Good ones.

dead wringer
Subject: Spa visit is a trip through a "ringer"?
I'm sure you weren't the one who wrote this headline, which makes this even more upsetting. If this were my story and someone slapped such an idiotic head on it, I'd be livid.
Of course, it should be wringer, not ringer. I'd go into greater depth, but I assume they've got dictionaries over there. Grab one and use it to hit the person who wrote the head for your piece.

Subject: RE: Spa visit is a trip through a "ringer"?
you're right. i didn't write the headline.
it's a really dumb mistake and pretty embarrassing.
thanks for the heads-up--
cheers, eunnie

Friday, December 31, 2004

Earth needs editors

Think I might throwup

YMCA flyer

Oh, look. You can workout at the YMCA. After you dropoff the dry cleaning and before you pickup the kids, you can stopby the Y, puton your sweats and setup your yoga mat.

Before you printup an advertisement and mailout a few thousand copies, thinkabout whether you should lookover the copy for errors, lookup any words you’re unsure of and cleanup any mistakes.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Earth needs editors

College textbooks: As crappy as they are expensive

If you haven’t been to college in a while, you might be surprised to learn that the average new textbook costs more than $100, meaning the average student spends almost $900 a year on books.

What do you get for your money? Inevitably, you get a CD-ROM and access to some online repository of worthless video clips. You’re also likely to get a new annual revision, hastily cobbled together from last year’s book, full of sloppy errors and disagreements between the text and the index.

Sadly, I’ve come to expect shoddy editing in my slick $110 textbooks, but every now and then, I see the kind of error that every single person involved in the book’s production should have noticed. Today’s example comes from Shirley Biagi’s Media/Impact: An Introduction to Mass Media, Seventh Edition. It’s published by Thomson/Wadsworth, a leader in the field of costly, crappy textbooks.

9-11-03 attacks?


Earth needs editors

Crappy college textbooks: Not an isolated incident

Here’s another gem from Politics in America, Fifth Edition, basic version, by Thomas R. Dye. In addition to some truly horrible writing, this book has the kind of mistakes that make you wonder where the editors have been living for the last 20 years.

Al Gore, Republican

(In case you’ve been hiding out with the editors, Al Gore is not a Republican. He is a Martian.)

They get extra points for leaving out a needed comma, making it sound as if New Hampshire had never hosted a Republican primary before.


Earth needs editors

Crappy college textbooks: Just one more today

Another winner from Dye’s Politics in America.

In order to appreciate this one, you have to know that Congress meets in the Capitol building, and what the Capitol looks like. It would also be helpful if you could recognize the White House. Apparently those things are not common knowledge among the people cranking out political science texts at Prentice-Hall’s Pearson Education division.

mislabeled White House


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