Making typos to show that typos are wrong?

RepMan writes about the latest absurd result of a public figure/head honcho neglecting to run copy past a proofreader or editor before releasing it to the masses. It seems a company called TextTrust–which hawks “the Internet’s highest quality web site spell checker”–sent out a press release full of–you guessed it–typos. The misspelled words included independent, accommodation, and definitely, which were …

Land of Typos, part ouch

From a recently edited scientific manuscript: Expansion of the tested material occurred when the testes were held in an NaOH solution. Those poor, poor testes. Needless to say, the author intended to use the word tests. His use of testes instead represents one of the classic categories of typos that slip through spellchecker: the Accidentally Naughty Sentence.

Simplified Spelling for English?

I’m a writer, an editor, and a voracious reader. The English language has been my passion since before I can remember; moreover, it’s now my bread and butter. I get paid to know the difference between principal and principle, and to know the three distinct meanings (and spellings) of pallet, pallette, and palate. But lately, as I’ve started teaching my …

Land of Typos, part uno

“Most Danish motorways in the 1970’ies were constructed with cement-bound base layers.” Oh dearie. References to decades should generally be handled much more simply: the 1970s. Don’t you agree’ie?

Billionaire Novelist Seeks Editor (she just doesn’t know it)

Matthew Baldwin at Defective Yeti has apparently been reading my mind. He recently wrote about his dismay that J.K. Rowling’s fourth and fifth books in the Harry Potter series, The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix, appeared to have received little to no editing. As Baldwin puts it, the two books: … were released at the height …

Mouse potato? In the dictionary?

Merriam-Webster has recently unveiled a set of new words that will be included in the 2006 update of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. Among them are technocreations such as mouse potato and ringtone; terms that originated in advertising, such as supersize; and already-dated slang terms such as drama queen. Do I really need this junk in my dictionary? Isn’t it …

Has Chicago gotten better?

I recently took on a project that involved editing a museum exhibit in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. As part of my work, I developed an extensive style sheet based on Chicago, complete with references to various sections of the manual (e.g., “Per Chicago 6.19, please use a serial comma”). I’ve spent years lambasting Chicago and complaining about …