or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Long Shot

Once upon a time, I was a typesetter, back when there were such things. In the days before desktop publishing and spellcheckers and a computer in every home, newspapers and printers had these massive and costly pieces of equipment that trained professionals would use to produce the text for posters, newspapers, books, and the like. (You didn't even know what it was going to look like until you actually generated the copy: none of this WYSIWIG stuff in those days.)

I had to do up a poster for a band that was playing on campus. I was given a hand-written copy of the text for the poster, and I dutifully designed and typed up the text for it. The band was called Hot Shit, which I thought was kind of a strange name for a band, but not strange enough that I thought to question it. When the proofreader came to check on the copy, she said, "Oh, it's not Hot Shit, it's Hot Shot!"

But that was an honest mistake brought about by bad handwriting. The "i" and the "o" are side by side on the keyboard, leading to all kinds of awful mistakes, such as the following, from a newspaper clipping posted on Lady Bunny's blog last month:

See? Everybody needs a proofreader.


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