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Author Topic: Typing != writing
Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by HollowMan:
quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas:
Changing "puppet on a string" to "puppy" seems to have become the norm, also.

I don't even want to know what "puppy on a string" is supposed to mean.
I have actually encountered this phrase. It did make sense though, as it was a song lyric talking about a woman walking a dog.
Let me guess: "Norma Jean Riley" by Diamond Rio?

I'mNotDedalus: The book in question was "Liberty's Crusade," a Starcraft novelization. It's still advertised on Blizzard's site store, using the incorrect text. The title also refers to the character's last name - good thing they got that one right.

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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Tantei Kijo
The First USA Noel


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Well, even monkeys fall from trees*. My ex-stepmother is a crack proofreader-- it's almost scary at times. But I had to show her a dictionary when I mentioned the "just desserts" joke debacle on the site, because she insisted that was correct.

While I've given up all hope of getting my spelling to a college graduate level, I like to think I can avoid errors like the above posts mention. I did catch a "weary" in place of "wary" a while back. [Embarrassed] So I do think it's** likely even the smartest are going to make mistakes like that every so often, the wise will learn from it though.

*And guaging from the quotes in the posts, monkeys also write books.
**speaking of which, even on the ulmb I see a posessive "it's" more than "its"

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Bender: Though you may have to make a metaphorical "deal with the devil". And by "devil", I mean the robot devil, and by "metaphorically" I mean get your coat. ------------ My sad site: A new way to be bored.

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Kiddo
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I must recommend a book that I think all of you would enjoy

It's called "Junk English" by Ken Smith

The book is basically a reference manual to the bastardization of the English language.

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~*~DORI~*~

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Tantei Kijo:
*And guaging from the quotes in the posts, monkeys also write books.
**speaking of which, even on the ulmb I see a posessive "it's" more than "its"

(it's also "gauging", Tantei).

And yes, monkeys do write books, at least Dr. Monkey does.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Sharpened Steel
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by TallGeekyGirl:
Suppose the author used the right word, but the editor is the one who didn't know the phrase and changed "moot" to "mute"? [fish]

The sad thing is, I see this happen a lot. I'm a writing tutor at my school and there's plenty of writing class papers that I've come across where the author had the correct phrase, then someone hand wrote an incorrect fix. When I change it back, the writer says, "But the other person who edited this said it was wrong!" When asked who that person was, it's always a person in their class. That's what I hate about "peer editing". If the person is in the class with you, doesn't that assume that they don't know anymore about the subject than you do?

I've also come across the wrong name thing in books. Actually, there were two books I read where a character that isn't present in the scene makes some kind of remark. It really kills it when that statement is the key part of the scene. If you have a section where the characters are separated, you should remember who's with who, especially if it's supposed to be a case of clashing personalities being stuck together. And yet nobody in the whole process caught the mistake(s).

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Get used to his bad habits and decide whether you can put up with them...the rest of your life. 'Cause if you don't, then one day, you find yourself in the shed, sharpening the axe and idly wondering how thick the human skull really is.
-ChickyBee

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WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
along with descriptions of pretty young women as being the "girl next store" type.

She may seem like the girl next store type at first, but she's actually quite a pre-Madonna. [Wink]

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"Unseasonable is an odd word to begin with. It sounds like it's describing something that it's impossible to sprinkle pepper on." -- Nonny

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Tantei Kijo
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker:
quote:
Originally posted by Tantei Kijo:
*And guaging from the quotes in the posts, monkeys also write books.
**speaking of which, even on the ulmb I see a posessive "it's" more than "its"

(it's also "gauging", Tantei).

And yes, monkeys do write books, at least Dr. Monkey does.

Seaboe

I knew there'd be something in there. On those Iowa Basics tests in elementary school I'd get a 99th percentile in everything except spelling, which always seemed to be a 66.

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Bender: Though you may have to make a metaphorical "deal with the devil". And by "devil", I mean the robot devil, and by "metaphorically" I mean get your coat. ------------ My sad site: A new way to be bored.

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The one that bugs me is party hardy.

I always thought it was party hearty which, to me at least, makes infinitely more sense.

And while I know run the gantlet has suffered a sea change* that made run the gauntlet acceptable, I still see people getting slapped with gloves rather than facing a dangerous attack.

Seaboe

*Well, not literally I don't think.

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Jeez, Seaboe, how many years does a change have to be in effect before you accept it? "Run the gauntlet" goes back at least as far as 1676.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Dog Friendly
Carol of the Bills


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The Kennel Manager at my animal shelter uses the phrase "Nip that in the butt" in place of "...in the bud". Now the original expression, as far as I know, was a gardening or horticultural metaphor of some kind. But she deals with dogs all day, so for her...

Dog (Notary republic) Friendly

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"Nobody ever got stoned and beat up his old lady" -- Spence, snapdragonfly's friend

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Dog Friendly
Carol of the Bills


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Oh, and one I saw twice in a novel by an author who really ought to know better, considering where (s)he grew up, was a phrase used to describe tracts of land in the Arizona badlands as "rancheros the size of counties".

Now, that's obese!

The same novel described chase scenes along streets and freeways that don't connect.

Dog Friendly

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"Nobody ever got stoned and beat up his old lady" -- Spence, snapdragonfly's friend

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
Jeez, Seaboe, how many years does a change have to be in effect before you accept it? "Run the gauntlet" goes back at least as far as 1676.

[Big Grin]

I guess until I don't imagine people being slapped with gloves when I hear the phrase.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Dog Friendly:
The same novel described chase scenes along streets and freeways that don't connect.

I read a silly romance set in a town named Seattle that bore next to no relation to the Seattle I know (that one, for instance, had an adjacent city named Belleview, whereas we have Bellevue).

Anyhoo, the book talked incessantly about "the village that serves the university." Drove me up the wall. Yes, there is a University Village near the University of Washington, but it's a shopping mall and has been throughout its existence.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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HollowMan
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Astra:
quote:
Originally posted by HollowMan:
I have actually encountered this phrase. It did make sense though, as it was a song lyric talking about a woman walking a dog.

Let me guess: "Norma Jean Riley" by Diamond Rio?

I've got some gingerbread points for you around here somewhere.

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Heisenberg may have slept here.

I got an idea... an idea so smart my head would explode if I even began to know what I was talking about.

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quiltsbypam
Happy Holly Days


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When I used to pick up police reports, I would frequently see that womeone was ticketed for "wreckless driving." I used to get a mental picture of a cop giving someone a ticket for arriving safely at their location. Just didn't seem right, somehow.

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"No Biblical hell could ever be worse than the state of perpetual inconsequence." Beatrice in Dangerous Beauty

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pob14
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Originally posted by NeeCD:
She also thought I was making stuff up when I used the phrase "a fount of useless information." To her it was "font" and a font = Times New Roman or Arial, etc. and there was no other kind. We told her "fount, you know, like fountain?" and she just wouldn't buy it. But at least she isn't an editor.

I must admit I thought it was "font", in the "Archaic or poetic" sense of "a fountain or well". (Collins).

Funnily enough, definition 2 of "font" in Collins says "NOUN printing another name (esp US and Canadian) for fount2"; then if you look up "fount2" it gives the definition about typefaces...

I've always said "font." Until just now, I never knew "fount" meant anything other than the typeface kind of font.

Merriam even uses it as an example:

Main Entry: 1font
Pronunciation: 'fänt
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin font-, fons, from Latin, fountain
1 a : a receptacle for baptismal water b : a receptacle for holy water c : a receptacle for various liquids
2 : SOURCE, FOUNTAIN

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Patrick

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Jocko's Jolly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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The other thing that drives me nuts is reading the newspaper (we've actually cancelled our subscription to The Sun, but for other reasons). The lack of editing is just glaring. I realize that, as a holder of a BA in English, I'm probably more sensitive to such failings. I further realize that newspaper have cut back on their staffing. But give me a friggin' break -- I'm not talking about convoluted grammatical errors or obscure rules here, just the basic sorts of things other posters have already touched upon -- misspelled words, improper apostrophes and some of the most hideous sentence structures known to man. Yikes!

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Like every good third-in-a-series it contains a whole load of ewoks, ‘Clubber’ Lang, whey-faced Sophia Coppola, Sean Connery as the Pirate Captain’s estranged dad, a crappy CGI alien, and Richard Pryor on a donkey. -- Gideon Defoe

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ULTRAGLORIA
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I started reading The Most Famous Man in America: A Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe).

Early on in the book, the author talks about the surrender of Lee at a courthouse in Appomattox, Virginia.

This from a professional biographer.

How can I trust the research after that?

I mean, it's so basic. Even I, who haven't got a lot of knowledge about the American Civil War, know Lee surrendered in the front parlor of a home in the town of Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.

(I joke that between the Norman invasion of England and the English invasion of Normandy, my history is very sketchy. Humerous, but fairly true.)

I gave up on the book at that point. I didn't want to spend all that time reading a biography with demonstrated inaccuracies of basic facts.


I then started on a biography called Mockingbird: a Portrait of Harper Lee which contains the phrase along the lines of If someone thought that something would happen, "she had another thing coming".

The author of that book is a former English teacher that used to teach To Kill a Mockingbird and has written other biographies for young adults. This is, I think, his first biography for adults.

I haven't given up on the book just for that one mistake; but it sure GLARED out at me.

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A Lie can run around the world before the Truth can get its boots on. - Terry Pratchett

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but everyone is not entitled to their own facts. - Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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quote:
Suppose the author used the right word, but the editor is the one who didn't know the phrase and changed "moot" to "mute"?
The point of my OP was that the book was poorly written in a stylistic sense, and the mistake I cited was an example of an egregious technical error that topped off everything else. Unless an editor rewrote the whole book, I have little doubt that the error was the author's.

I know that even the best writers make mistakes and misspell words from time to time. But really, anyone who doesn't understand the correct form of a phrase such as "moot point" simply has no business writing for publication -- either that person has done precious little (substantive) reading himself, or he just isn't capable of assimilating form and meaning from written language.

- snopes

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
The point of my OP was that the book was poorly written in a stylistic sense, and the mistake I cited was an example of an egregious technical error that topped off everything else. Unless an editor rewrote the whole book, I have little doubt that the error was the author's.

I know that even the best writers make mistakes and misspell words from time to time. But really, anyone who doesn't understand the correct form of a phrase such as "moot point" simply has no business writing for publication -- either that person has done precious little (substantive) reading himself, or he just isn't capable of assimilating form and meaning from written language.

This is exactly why I mentioned this thread on My Other Board(tm), which has a conference specifically geared to would-be writers.

This topic had serendipitously arisen there just this morning.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by violetbon:
Don't forget the ever popular and lovely "I could care less".

I do believe Miss Hilary Duff said this in an interview the other day -- that she could care less about gossip.

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Michelle

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Astra:
At least it's only a spelling error. I have one paperback that has the plot outlined on the back cover. It introduces the main character as "Danny." However, the book refers to him as "Mike." "Danny" does not exist.

Another book I have makes a minor plot point out of how visitors at a mental institution hand over their wallets because the inmates might use the plastic cards to injure themselves. On the very next page, the main character pulls something out of his just-confiscated wallet.

Whoever edited those two books will not be receiving fanmail from me any time soon.

I was on a blog where the woman spent a lot of time lecturing on one of her favorite novels. Apparently the heroine of Wuthering Heights is Emily, because she referred to her by that name several times. I left a tongue-in-cheek comment asking if the novel was written by Catherine Bronte.

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Michelle

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Suiren
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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If I see 'peeks my interest' one more time... ARGH.

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"No, I'm not running a black market out of my trenchcoat! Why would you think that? ... Those are green tea packets... GREEN TEA!"

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Paulie Jay
O Little Down-Payment of Bethlehem


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Only yesterday I read in the Telegraph "he stabbed the girl to death 19 times" and I thought gee, that's more lives than a cat...

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All the way with Paulie Jay

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NorthernLite
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by TallGeekyGirl:
Suppose the author used the right word, but the editor is the one who didn't know the phrase and changed "moot" to "mute"? [fish]

This is certainly not in the realm of the impossible. I remember receiving a lower grade on one of my university English papers because I wrote *a lot* as two separate words. The TA who marked my paper said that he couldn't give me a higher grade because I had made the same error several times and not spelled it *alot*.

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You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons. -Blazing Saddles

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Strawberry Limeade
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I deal with this sort of thing on a fairly regular basis since my boyfriend was brought up speaking English as his 3rd language. He can speak it really well, but chatting online is another story. The one instance that really stands out in my mind is when we had a good five minutes of confusion because he didn't want anyone to think he was "eves dropping". Who is this Eve girl, and why are you holding her up? (He was trying to say eavesdropping.)

Also, I just have to throw in this quote:

Joey: All right, Rach. The big question is, "does he like you?" All right? Because if he doesn't like you, this is all a moo point.
Rachel: Huh? A moo point?
Joey: Yeah, it's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo.
Rachel: Have I been living with him for too long, or did that all just make sense?

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"My artist statement is incomprehensible and therefore full of deep significance." - Calvin

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NeeCD
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Originally posted by NeeCD:
She also thought I was making stuff up when I used the phrase "a fount of useless information." To her it was "font" and a font = Times New Roman or Arial, etc. and there was no other kind. We told her "fount, you know, like fountain?" and she just wouldn't buy it. But at least she isn't an editor.

I must admit I thought it was "font", in the "Archaic or poetic" sense of "a fountain or well". (Collins).

Funnily enough, definition 2 of "font" in Collins says "NOUN printing another name (esp US and Canadian) for fount2"; then if you look up "fount2" it gives the definition about typefaces...

Well, I pronounce it "font," but I spelled it "fount" to differentiate it from typefaces. I'm afraid that the pronunciation would have made no difference, in her case. I should mention that the one time I mispronounced Epiphone (Epiphany instead of Epi-phone - in my defense, I'd never heard of that kind of guitar before, and had mispronounced "Persephone" for years [Embarrassed] ) she just ridiculed the heck out of me. And just to (sort of) tie this all into the OP, she would write documents at our company that were completely cringe-worthy. Another co-worker and I would get the document prior to its official release and proof-read (and correct) it. [Big Grin]

Edited because it needed to be.

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I wondered why the Frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK!" and other lingo mean?

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Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Suiren:
If I see 'peeks my interest' one more time... ARGH.

Or "peaks." Funny NorthernLite should mention it, because I had points docked on several papers in high school and college for using the correct phrase when the teacher was used to hearing an incorrect version. I don't remember if this one affected my grade, but I do remember being corrected for writing that something had "piqued" my interest, and in the absence of a dictionary, having a knock-down, drag-out argument with my teacher. I brought in my dictionary the next day for proof, and she pretended to have forgotten all about it and to have no idea what I was talking about. I also lost a school spelling bee in the third grade because I had learned the wrong way to spell "raspberry" from a carton of fruit punch on which the "p" had been omitted. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

quote:
Originally posted by Radical Dory:
It's moments like those I wish I had free copies of Eats, Shoots and Leaves in my purse to hand out.

That might do more harm than good. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves is rife with grammatical errors, including, incomprehensibly enough, dozens of punctuation errors. Louis Menand ripped it to shreds in a brilliant review in the New Yorker:
quote:
The first punctuation mistake in “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” [...] appears in the dedication, where a nonrestrictive clause is not preceded by a comma. It is a wild ride downhill from there. “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” presents itself as a call to arms, in a world spinning rapidly into subliteracy, by a hip yet unapologetic curmudgeon, a stickler for the rules of writing. But it’s hard to fend off the suspicion that the whole thing might be a hoax.


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"If God wrote it, the grammar must be infallible. Perhaps it is we who are mistaken." -MapleLeaf

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Cactus Wren
Jingle Bell Hock


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I don't think it's possible to blame bad copy-editing alone for an error that turns up repeatedly in a single author's work. I gave up on Mercedes Lackey's novels at about the time I realized she genuinely thought "flaunt" meant "to treat with contemptuous disregard" (as in "flaunting the rules", or "don't flaunt the local customs"). And her characters, if they do "flaunt" the rules, are sure to get in trouble "e'er long".

I'm a complete autodidact. I have my GED, but I never officially graduated from grade school. I don't even call myself homeschooled, because to say that would imply a more formal and more complete educational experience than I received. And even I know that "ere" means "before", and "e'er" is a contraction of "ever". Who's making this mistake -- over and over and over again? Misty, or her editor, or both?

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“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” -- Edward R. Murrow

IOToriSparrowANK!

Posts: 598 | From: Arizona | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TallGeekyGirl
O Read, O Read, The Manual


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In an email a friend once told me he was waiting for something "with baited breath." I responded, with a [Wink] smiley, that if he didn't eat so many worms he wouldn't have that problem.

He had no idea what I was talking about... [fish]

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

Posts: 980 | From: Virginia | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
That might do more harm than good. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves is rife with grammatical errors, including, incomprehensibly enough, dozens of punctuation errors. Louis Menand ripped it to shreds in a brilliant review in the New Yorker:
quote:
The first punctuation mistake in “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” [...] appears in the dedication, where a nonrestrictive clause is not preceded by a comma. It is a wild ride downhill from there. “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” presents itself as a call to arms, in a world spinning rapidly into subliteracy, by a hip yet unapologetic curmudgeon, a stickler for the rules of writing. But it’s hard to fend off the suspicion that the whole thing might be a hoax.

Which is rubbish, frankly, and completely missing the point of the book. She talks about different styles of punctuation and writing in there! It's a question of style whether or not you should put a comma before an unrestrictive clause. The usual style differs between the UK and the USA.

And the book's written in an informal, conversational style anyway. In that style, (to me at least), commas signify pauses in speech. You can omit or include them to change the pace of the sentence. She herself admits to an overfondness for semi-colons.

To say that it's "rife with grammatical errors, including, incomprehensibly enough, dozens of punctuation errors" because it doesn't match the New Yorker's style guide is silly.

I must admit I would put a comma in the sentence he quotes, but I don't remember finding it jarring when I read the book.

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I thought that "could care less" was a colloquialism. That's not the same as a grammatical/vocabulary (vocabularial?) error.

The one that gets me, though, is I've had friends tell me many times over the year that something made them feel so sick that they were "reaching". I have always assumed that they meant "retching".

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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UrbanReindeer
Deck the Malls


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Several years ago, my local paper introduced a new, full-color, glossy TV section. The first issue highlighted a local man who was starring in a new educational show about wildlife. The article went on to say that the first episode of his new show would feature lepers.

Yep. Lepers. Those big cats in the jungles of South Ameri ... LEPERS?!

Not just once either. Nowhere was "leopards" spelled correctly. Fortunately my mother calmed me down before I could place a screechy ranting call to the newspaper.

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"He feeds the sparrows of the field, but He doesn't sit there and cram worms into their mouths." -- Mouse

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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My hometown newspaper can't spell anything right to save their lives. The best typo I've seen recently was:

"The District Supervisor said his constituency is undeserved." Probably true, but what he actually said was that they were underserved.

Tee Hee.

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"The little local company I buy from has CHEAP shipping and I have met their goats." (snapdragonfly)

"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by TallGeekyGirl:
In an email a friend once told me he was waiting for something "with baited breath." I responded, with a [Wink] smiley, that if he didn't eat so many worms he wouldn't have that problem.

He had no idea what I was talking about... [fish]

Ooh, I won $10,000 from SO once on this. In practice, this just won me the return of the check for $10,000 I had to write him for being wrong about the date of "Come on Eileen," but it was nevertheless satisfying.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

Posts: 10111 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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