Cephalogenic

or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

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Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sure Thing

Yesterday, The Consumerist's Meg Marco posted this story about a typo on the Apple.com website. Here's the image.
"Shure" rather than "sure". How could that have happened? (Shure is a brand of headphones, but it doesn't seem likely that Apple is subliminally advertising them. It's possible that "Shure" is in the spellchecker, and whoever wrote it made a simple typo, or was an idiot, and the spellchecker was of no help.)

Twenty-one minutes prior to that, she posted this story about how Christmas sales were a disappointment to retailers this year, which started with these two sentences:

It's official now, Christmas was "lackluster" for retailers, despite the predicted "last minute" serge of shopping activity. From USAToday:

Should have been three sentences, mind you: the first three words are a sentence all to themselves and should have been followed by a period, not a comma. but the problem is in what follows. "Serge"? Serge is a kind of a fabric. "Surge" is obviously the word that was shot at and missed.

I'll give her credit, though; Meg Marco can poke fun at herself. In the Apple item, she closed by saying, "At least Walmart and I are not alone out there."

Still. If you're going to criticize spelling and grammar and such, you need to have a really firm grasp on such matters. If it's just you, then you have a little leeway, because it's tricky to catch mistakes in your own writing. (It can be done, but it requires perseverance and luck.) But if it's more than a couple of people, if you have a big old website like The Consumerist, you have to have a copy editor, someone to re-read and fix. You have to!

2 Comments:

Anonymous OmegaMom said...

And what's with the quotes around "lackluster"? It's a perfectly good word...and the quotes around "last minute"? Just very odd to me, that's all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007 3:29:00 PM  
Blogger pyramus said...

Well, now that you've pointed it out, it's very odd to me, too.

I assumed that they meant what quotation marks usually mean: that they were direct quotes from the article in question. In fact, "lackluster" appears in the very first sentence-paragraph of the article:

Bargain hunters flocked to the nation's malls and shopping centers Wednesday, raising hopes that an otherwise lackluster retail season might still be salvageable.

I didn't read any further than that, but I naturally thought that "last minute" (which should have been hyphenated as "last-minute", of course) was also from the article. Guess what? It isn't. It's just something the writer threw in there, quotes and all. Dreadful.

Meg Marco really needs a good editor.

Thursday, December 27, 2007 6:17:00 PM  

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