Author Topic: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101  (Read 21076 times)

Jim

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Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« on: June 19, 2008, 02:02:05 AM »
From The Detroit News:

Up to 30 more levies threatened by floods

As is usually the case with this sort of thing, they manage to spell "levees" correctly only two lines after the headline.

I see this type of shit multiple times daily, especially from outlets such as the Associated Press. Ten years ago, I hardly ever saw it. Thirty years ago, when things such as electronic word-processing programs that came ready-made with spell-check didn't exist, I never saw it. Who's paying these people? Why won't they pay me?

Shift

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 08:59:13 AM »
Thank you.  THANK YOU![/b]

Watch any cable news channel and while some pompous pontificator is pontificating pompously on some earth-shattering issue, beneath him or her is a constant scroll of misspellings and typos.

I am so sikc of it.
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Jim

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 10:14:09 AM »
From tomorrow's (hey, don't bite my head off like that great white shark tried to do—it says June 20th!) New York Times, which used to be way the fuck more venerable than it is now:

Mr. McCain has been a champion of public financing of campaign [sic] throughout his career.


Shift

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008, 11:33:38 AM »
When I Googled "Dada", one of the offerings was this:

    Read about the history, literature and design characteristics of this anti-art cultural movement that grew from World War II to 1920.
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Jim

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2008, 01:58:43 AM »
From an AP story about Obama's search for a running mate, quoting the somewhat humorously named Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich.:

"I asked them what type of person the senator is looking for?..."


Even though the word 'asked' is part of the sentence, that's a statement, not a question, for the love of the bleeding Jesus and his holy stigmata.

I agree that Barry Obama has that JFK inspirational vibe wafting off him, but what does it matter if the nation over which he assumes control is entirely populated by retarded people?


Jim

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2008, 03:49:09 PM »
Today's AP fuck-up:

Hagel said Friday he hasn't thought about who to vote for in November.

Whom. Whom. WHOM. It's the direct object, not the subject. You're the fucking ASSociated Press. You should know the difference.

And, naturally, in THE PRECEDING SENTENCE, they get it right:

He hasn't endorsed Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumed Republican nominee, whom he calls a friend.

When you confuse "who" and "whom," the terrorists win.

Shift

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2008, 04:01:10 AM »
In fairness to The Associated Press, no one can get the "who"/"whom" thing down.  It simply can't be done.

You've gained supernatural powers from recently having your brain poked around in.

With a modicum of effort, one can go their entire lives avoiding using either.  Only Jim will know if you're right or wrong anyway, but still.

Err on the side of caution.
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Jim

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2008, 04:32:06 AM »
WHO/WHOM

First a simple explanation, then if that fails (which it usually does), a mnemonic trick.

"Who" always refers to a sentence's subject. "Whom" always refers to its object.

Got it? No? OK. Let's do "who" first.

Bob went down the street.

Omit the "Bob," and see whether "He" or "Him" would be appropriate.

In this case, it'd be "He went down the street." Bob is the subject.

So...

Bob is the person WHO went down the street.

Still with me? Fantastic! Let's cover "whom" next.

Hortense loves Bob.

For that 'un, it'd be "Hortense loves him." Bob is the object of Hortense, as well as of her much-desired love and legendary skills at oral pleasure.

Only a minute more here....

The person WHOM Hortense loves is Bob.

What's the trick?

If when you rephrase the sentence and it's "he" or "she," then it's "who." They all end in vowels. He...she...who.

If it's "hiM" or "her," then it's "whoM." They all end in consonants. Him...her...whom. Follow the magical "M."

(I tend to remember going over this with the class a couple years ago on an ancient thread, but not even I care to search for it. I remain, as always, happy to help our nation with grammar.)



Shift

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2008, 04:36:44 AM »
Dude.  You lost us at "mnemonic".

Stop using your new-found super-powers for evil!
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Jim

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2008, 04:48:29 AM »
Quote
Stop using your new-found super-powers for evil!


You should know me better than that (BTW, both "newfound" and "superpowers" are single words that shouldn't be hyphenated). I'm using my newly excavated powers to FIGHT evil. I wrote the following whistle-blowing piece two days ago. Technically, I shouldn't be "sharing" these things until they're published, but I can always lean back on the "I had a brain tumor and forgot" alibi as if it were a warm wooden crutch:

THE WORLD'S WORST DICTATORS


Jim

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2008, 09:32:49 PM »
From the New York Times, which used to be flawless:

Future commercials could run on big national showcases like the Olympics in August and smaller cable networks like MTV and Black Entertainment Television that appeal to specific demographic and interest groups.


This is a common mistake among the peasantry, but it upset me so much that it's happening in the Times, I nearly nicked my balls while shaving them in the shower.

Here's why: "Like" means "similar to." It doesn't mean "the thing itself." They obviously meant the Olympics and MTV and BET, not outlets that resemble them. In each instance, they should have used "such as" instead of "like."

Thankfully, my gorgeous balls remain intact.

Jim

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2008, 03:04:58 PM »
Because I'm only now starting to realize how enthralled and captivated everyone is by my grammatical lectures, I'll toss this log onto the fire, too.

At this moment, I'm editing some copy for those old standby NW stripper rags. Here's the sentence:

Unless you are into kinky Dom/Sub fun wherein you will be dragged around by a collar and spanked into submission (while loving every minute of it), there is no reason to get all pissy about who owns whom.


Who (subject) owns whom (object).

He or she (vowel) owns him or her (consonant).

It's a sad, topsy-turvy world when a stripper gets it right and the AP doesn't, but that's how the axis spins these days.

Shift

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2008, 09:16:57 PM »
I got it.

One of the surgeons' iPod ear-piece fell into Jim's cranial cavity and inadvertently stimulated the portion of his brain effecting punctuation.

Another surgeon set his cigarette down on Jim's brainpan for a sec to wipe his scalpel off on his surgeon smock, slightly denting Jim's id in the process, which resulted in Jim thinking "mnemonic" is a word.
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Jim

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2008, 09:47:09 PM »
Quote
I got it.

One of the surgeons' iPod ear-piece fell into Jim's cranial cavity and inadvertently stimulated the portion of his brain effecting punctuation.


Ahem...affecting.

And since the steroids are a little bit less intense now, I'm too nice to point out that "earpiece" is one word.


Shift

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Re: Screamingly Retarded Copyediting 101
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2008, 09:53:37 PM »
You know what?  I spent about twenty minutes on that and started with 'a' and wound up with 'e'.
Check it out!
And liked it that way!  It felt good!
affecting- to have an influence on or effect a change, whereas effecting means to bring about.
Your verdict?
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