Listen to Jim: http://www.jimreedbooks.com/mp3/youreyouyou.mp3 or read on…
I’m not exactly a member of the Usage and Grammar Police Squad, but I seem unable to suppress my background in writing and editing for very long.
We proofreaders seem to be born with an affliction: we just can’t help noticing improperly queued series of letters and punctuation marks, and incorrect pronunciation.
Those of us who have good manners manage to keep our mouths shut, even when folks say things like, “Do you have a copy of that ANN RAND book?” It’s AYN (pronounced like NINE) RAND. But who really cares? She’s too dead to mind much.
This affliction does save me time. When an email headline is YOUR INVITED, I don’t have to waste energy opening it. It’s already clear that an unprofessional or uneducated person wrote the message. If it said YOU’RE INVITED, I might read a few lines more.
Another email spasms its way into the inbox, SPECIAL OFFER ON SEARS ROOFS. Does this mean I’ll have to climb to the Sears roof to find an offer? Does it mean Sears is selling off its roofs? (I knew they were having financial problems, but being roofless would make things worse for them, don’t you think?) Does it mean they are selling roofs for houses and if so, how do I get one into my trunk?
When an interviewee on the radio says, “I’ve been abroad,” I can’t see the spelling and spacing, so I am left to determine whether this guy is trans-gendered (“I’ve been a broad.) and how this fits into the conversation. When another story reports on people who are sending their children abroad, I have to actually use my brain (Why would they send their children a broad? Do they actually need one? And why such a disrespectful term?).
I own a book called TOADVINE IN IT’S HEYDAY, which means no proofreader ever came near the book.
As Alex MacLeod once said, “Copy editors don’t object to being called anal retentive,
they just debate whether the term should be hyphenated.”
Aren’t you glad I don’t say everything I think
(c) 2011 A.D. by Jim Reed