or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, April 11, 2008

Object Lesson

This is what I'm always talking about.

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to take your text seriously, too. You need to spellcheck it. You need to pay someone to read not only every word, but every letter.Then you need someone else to do that again. The person who writes the text is not going to be able to see his or her own mistakes. A spellchecker will catch the really egregious errors. A copy editor will catch most of the rest. A second reader will get anything that's left over.

If you don't do this, then you risk releasing a political ad that ends like this:

Yes, it says "Johm McCain."

The "m" and "n" keys are side by side on the keyboard. "Johm" is one of the easiest typing mistakes to make. It could happen to anyone. But even the most cursory spellcheck will catch such a mistake. A human paying some kind of attention certainly would.

Copy edit, copy edit, copy edit. The alternative is to let people know that you don't give a fuck about anything, certainly not getting your own name right, and what kind of a message is that for a politician to be sending?


Anonymous OmegaMom said...

Copy editors are priceless. They're not *paid* as if they are priceless, though, sigh...

Friday, April 11, 2008 1:44:00 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Did you hear about the LA paper that laid off it's ENTIRE copyediting staff? I read that and immediately pictured your head exploding.

Friday, April 11, 2008 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger pyramus said...

Actually, when I read that I just laughed in stunned disbelief.

I believe it, though. I can just imagine the bean-counters making their argument that modern computers, with their spellcheckers and their frim-frams and their wizzle-wazzles, make it impossible for any mistakes to appear in a publication, so why would they need to pay people to oversee the copy?

Saturday, April 12, 2008 7:45:00 AM  

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