You’ve probably heard about how easy it is to miss a repeated word when it appears at the end of a line and the beginning of the next line. For example:
“Wow,” he said. “I had no idea how easy it is to miss a word when it appears at the
the end of a line and also at the beginning of the next line!”
When you’re reading quickly, your mind just absorbs the repetition as a way of maintaining the continuity of what you’re reading.
I’d like to think that’s what happened with the ad shown below, which ran on the back cover of a magazine. (I blurred out the name of the race.) This might just be the most egregious editing mistake I’ve ever seen make it to print. And since I’ve been in the editing biz for a long time, that’s really saying something.
Got any better—uh, I mean, worse examples? Send ’em in to the blog.
My friend Ray and I have been joking back and forth for a few months (or longer) now about how we really want to be “free-range editors,” roaming the streets and highways, rooting out poor grammar, spelling, and style wherever it lurks, and correcting it with a flourish of our (hopefully inexhaustible supply of) red pens.
Clearly, at least to us, we are living in the End Times. The perceptible decline of proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style is such that we draw ever closer to the Apostrolypse, and the final battle: Grammargeddon. (I’m sure you readers can decipher my coinage, and comprehend its origins. I have a warped and some would say sophisticated sense of humor–at least when I’m not laughing so hard that tea comes out my nose because of looking at LOLcats.)
The plan here, such as it is, is for us to share this blog for posting offenses to the language from wherever they might spring. Shortly, we will each have a personal page here as well, for shil–I mean, for self-promotion. Both Ray and I are professional editors, and we would love more work. Do I, Karen, write as perfectly here as I could? Probably not. I am using a very conversational style here, because–well, I’m chatting with you, in a way. I do, however, attempt to use decent grammar and spelling even when I’m being informal. (I really don’t want to be Miss Thistlebottom. Extra credit for those of you who get that reference.)
So–here we are. This is the first post, and I hope many more will follow. Please be patient. We’re new at this stuff. Thanks for understanding.