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 …