Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Strangely Lovely

This subbing error is so oddly beautiful, it almost convinces me that the world might be a better place with fewer editors.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Do the Math, AFR

If you are going to put the word 'financial' in the title of your newspaper, it is probably a good idea to make sure that the figures you print are correct:

Friday, 9 November 2012

Proofreading and the US President

According to a Republican Party volunteer, the get out the vote strategy for their side was a disaster on Tuesday. Among the many mistakes he identifies, proofreading was important.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Sunday, 7 October 2012

More Sloppiness

1. What are 'realtions'?

2. Apostrophe missing

3. Too many apostrophes

4. Why are you asking me? Is this a statement or isn't it?

5. Was it just any old lynch mob or was it the mother of all lynch mobs?

6. As long as she wasn't unlawyerly, I'm not bothered.

7. 'fewer' and 'less' - should I stop worrying about these? Is it all too late?

8. I'm confused - whose home? Mr Shorten's or Mr Chifley's?

9. It's funny the word 'turgidity' features in a sentence that is itself turgid - 'with more conviction and in a manner more free from ...' might work instead.

10. Should this be 'One side just can't sit there and SAY no'?

11. ' we to need wonder no more'?

12. The sentence beginning 'And the contribution ...' seems to have lost a bit of itself. I don't love the phrase 'the variety of views put forwards was done in a way that we all should be proud of' either - can you 'do' a 'variety of views put forwards'?

13. Australia also comes 201th in capacity to use ordinal numbers.

14. Luckily our strength doesn't appear to depend on coherence either. Although it 'could also could' do.

15. The important thing is not what Tony Abbot is suggesting; the man who may have power is called Tony Abbott

16. So speedy that we can dispense with the odd word, in order to hurry things along.

17. In this piece though, the odd word has been inserted for no apparent reason.

18. If Mr Romney's wife and his son have had children together, isn't that called incest?


The word 'damaged' in this caption seems inadequate somehow:

We Put Them in the Toaster

That's how they got singed:

Friday, 21 September 2012

AFR Illiteracy

From a brief flick through one edition of the Australian Financial Review this week the following emerged:

1.'if wins the election'??
The commas round 'from time to time' are odd as well.

2. If the price of iron ore fell to US$1.20, we really would be in trouble.

3. The truth is, if the iron ore price fell to US$1.20, we really might want to CUE the violins.

4. Let's hope that the ups really are multiple and that there is only a singular down (or none at all, ideally).

5. Maybe Romney does speak ungrammatically - or maybe this is sloppily edited.

6. Shouldn't the arrangements be plural?

7. Shouldn't 'half a percentage point' be singular?

8. 'The' NSW?

9. Yes, put the impact in a box and close the lid.

10. Some of whose expansion plans?

So Left Wing They Even Challenge Traditional Spelling

From The Australian

To Be or To Be Be

From The Australian


I'm more than usually baffled by editorial mistakes when they appear in captions. These are such small pieces of text that it seems especially surprising that errors are missed by editors:

1. This is from 'Good Living Street' by Tim Bonyhady - the apostrophe suggests there was a phenomenon called 'the Mahler'

2. These are from the Fitzwilliam Museum's recent exhibition of Chinese tomb contents.

a. 'he may BE one of the nomads'
 b. 'on the outer circle' is the start of a new sentence, which suggests a capital 'o' might be in order; 'going into a big mountain AND seeing' might be better than 'going into a big mountain an seeing'

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Of and It and the Small Change of Language

The usual advice to savers is 'look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves'. The Australian Financial Review might do well to adjust that adage to its copy editing activities (or lack thereof) - 'look after the little words and the big ones will take care of themselves' (or, more realistically, 'look after the little words and look after the big ones too'):

Misplaced Inverted Commas

The inverted commas around 'fine' are just insulting:

I mean what can they possibly signify other than 'so-called' - 'yeah, all right, some people call these people 'fine', but really they're paedophiles.' Can that really be what the Australian is trying to say?

The Struggle Continues

Out in Yass, someone's inadequate education leaves them defeated before simple words like 'delight' and 'yolk':

Thank heavens for that 'crusade' the Prime Minister's been on about. Unfortunate choice of words, but things clearly need improving in our schools.

How is this Still Possible?

On the BBC website, despite the existence of spellcheck, someone still manages to spell 'receive' wrong:

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Very Foward Looking

On the bus from the car hire place to Luton airport:

Not Very Attractive

In an article in the Telegraph about how it has been suggested that women over a certain age should not wear bikinis, the writer claims that she ought to have "brindled" with indignation at this proposition:
It conjures up an interesting image, but I suspect "bristled" may have been the word she was looking for.

A Bunde and Coke Thanks

The Australian Financial Review is fairly expensive. It is supposed to know about financial things (the clue is in the name). Given these facts, it should not repeatedly refer to Germany's central bank as the Bundebank:


Dear Spectator
You were once a fine magazine; you are now a fine magazine in need of a copy editor. If you don't believe me, just look at these errors, picked at random from your 30 June 2012 issue:

1. "become" is incorrect:

 2. Using "an homage" rather than "a homage" suggests that you are prescribing the horrid new pronunciation that lengthens and emphasises the final syllable of the word "homage". Someone once said that the further towards the end of any word a society chooses to place the stress, the greater that society's decadence:
 3. Toby Young rather undermines his argument for the kind of education he received by displaying in the phrase "these proposal" his inability to distinguish plural from singular:
 4. What are "back accounts" and what does "gave own his own" mean:
 5: "more nourishing than", surely - plus grammatically "the reason she preferred it is so she could spend more time" is wrong; it should be "the reason she preferred it is that it allowed her to spend more time":
 6. Surely "when you've seen as much and lived as long as Dorothy has" would be the correct way to express what the writer is trying to say:
 7. "neigbours" - do you not even have spellcheck:
Possibly you are well aware of all these problems and merely unable to find someone suitably qualified to do the job. If so, let me know. I'd happily take it on (depending on the salary, of course).