Sunday, March 26, 2006

Where Did All the Proofreaders Go?

As an editor, I correct errors and typos in business documents that have been created by other people, so I think my own work should be perfect. I confess that sometimes it isn’t.

But I’m not alone.

Typos and errors in grammer, punctuation, and syntax are common in almost everything in print today. Don’t publishing houses and newspapers hire proofreaders or copy editors anymore?

I guess not.

Several years ago, I bought the first book published by an author who is currently writing two mystery series. In the first half of the book, the name of one of the main characters was Harvey. Then, in the middle of the book, he was referred to as Harry. A few pages later, he was Harvey again for the rest of the novel.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, I think about a fellow I knew when I was a junior in high school. He had an Irish last name, a modified Elvis haircut, and a whole lot of freckles. We dated for about four months one summer when he was on the outs with the girl he had gone steady with since he was about thirteen.

“Jeremy” liked cars. He mostly liked to see how fast they could go. He also liked to see how fast he they could stop. (Hey, former neighbors, now you know how all those tire marks got on the road in front of your houses.)

During one of the several times that he was stopped for speeding, he told the policeman that he was “just burning out the carbon.” That excuse failed to impress the policeman, and Jeremy ended up in court the next day.

The judge he appeared before had a reputation for being unsympathetic to teenage boys with a hot foot on the gas pedal. When Jeremy’s case was called, the judge told him: “Son, there are three rates of speed in this town: slow, medium, and ‘Good morning, Judge.’”