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15 September 2008

Pobody's Nerfect

I spotted three typos in yesterday's Observer, as well as a couple of spacing errors and was as smirky as usual but on Comment Is Free today, Siobhain Butterworth defends the Grauniad's "quirky" proofreading. She is, it seems, the readers' editor or the reader's editor, depending on whether you believe the subheading of her column or the title of the tab in my browser (as to which is correct, I guess that depends on whether I am the only reader of the column).

Besides, the sleepier I become, the more typos and--worse--grammatical errors I find myself making, especially given the in-browser spellcheck disappearing about half the time in the "new post" window of Blogger--as even when the spellcheck is working, not much of my text is underlined in red, so the absence of red never flags warning bells to me. I have certainly submitted posts and then, seconds--or sometimes hours--later, realised the error of my ways (the worst are when there is a mistake in the title and the URL of the post forever recalls my error).

Of course, grammatical pedants and prescriptivist critics of the spelling and grammar of others live in constant fear of Hartman's Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation, in which, "any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror." [sic]

Hopefully, then, there won't be any herein. However, I do think Butterworth should have written a letter to Private Eye pointing out their usage of "air fairs" not "air fares" (an error spotted by one of her reader(s))--then again, dissing Private Eye is always risky; you never know when you might have missed a whole new level of irony...


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