Tag Archives: misspelling

Perish nurse

I went back and forth about whether I should post this. I try to be respectful, and sometimes pointing out the mistakes of others is certainly not respectful. This one is almost so egregious that I would expect to see it in one of those email forwards or something.

In my bulletin at church this morning:

“There is a fact sheet about the H1N1 Flu on the information desk, put out by our perish nurse, if you are interested please take one.”

Wow. Yeah, I got a good laugh out of that one, Talking about an infectious disease, and suddenly the church has a perish nurse. I know that parish and perish sound the same, but they mean very different things. Spell check won’t catch this mistake, but it must be caught.

Today’s National Grammar Day

The official site for the event, hosted by the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG). The site boasts a Bad Grammar Hall of Fame Playlist, not to mention a Top Ten list of grammar tips. The site also has links to many, many other grammar-related blogs. (Here’s the SPOGG blog.)

Meanwhile, Arnold Zwicky at Language Log is shunning National Grammar Day and its “nastiness”.

I’ll admit, some of the language on the official Grammar Day site does sound a bit militant. Nathan Bierma, writing in the Chicago Tribune, urges a middle ground. He also cites Grammar Girl as hoping for civility in the discussion.

So, instead of celebrating this day cheerfully fault-finding, howzabout we celebrate good grammar where we find it?

How will you celebrate National Grammar Day 2009?

My post about National Grammar Day last year. And a related post from nearly two years ago.

Cuil = source of knowledge?

It turns out: Kind of, but not quite.

Since the launch of the new search engine, Cuil.com, (pronounced Cool), on Sunday, it’s been in the news. Well, the nonmainstream news I heed, anyway. One such story was digging deep to discern the truthfulness (or lack thereof) of the site’s claim that cuil is an Irish word that means knowledge.

The results are in: It kind of means that. The word (coll, with a genitive cuill) actually means hazel; it’s associated with wisdom/knowledge in Celtic mythology. This culled from the comments on the above post; the commenter wrote succinctly about it here. So the search engine creators spelled their site wrong, too, apparently.

This is all a side note to whether the search engine actually leads a user to knowledge. From what I’ve heard so far, it’s not scoring too well in that category. When I tried it, I got both tangential results and entirely unrelated results; some results were not even in English. I did not get any directly related results.

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon

I finished the first in Jan Karon’s Mitford series, At Home in Mitford, this week.

The books remind me of Lake Wobegon, except Christian.

The story follows the Episcopalian priest (new word for me: rector) in this small Southern town. Father Tim is an avid flower gardener, cook, localvore, lover of Wordsworth. Nothing too huge usually transpires in daily life (although a few big changes do take place), but the characters come alive.

Quite the fun read.

I intended to pick up this first installment at the library, where I’d seen them before, for the 24-hour read-a-thon. But the first book was missing! I was headed to Books on Broadway anyway, so I checked for it there, and they had it. I bought it. (I’ve mentioned this bookstore before, here). I did start reading this book during the read-a-thon, but I didn’t make it all the way through before time expired.

The newspaper in the small town of Mitford (in the Blue Ridge Mountains) is pretty bad — spells a person’s name three different ways in one article. The small-town paper I worked for wasn’t (and isn’t) that bad.

I heard so many recommendations for this series, from people whose book opinions I trust. I’d seen them in the library, time and again, but they spines never seemed interesting. I even glanced at the covers, but I always returned the books to the shelf. Maybe it’s the orange. (And yes, I have been turned off by a book’s cover only to later find, when I actually take the chance, that I’ve skipped over a great read, here for example.)

I’m now on to the second book in the series, this one from the library; I hope to finish it before the books are due back to the library at the end of this week.

Lament for copy editors

I couldn’t resist. I saw this at LanguageHat, and had to pass it along.

Apparently Lawrence Downes, of the NY Times, visited the Newseum in D.C. and noticed it held no mention of the “lowly buy exalted copy editor.” Gasp! What followed is his elegy for all task’s practitioners.

It’s a quick, short piece — go read it. I’ll wait.

OK, then. Thank you.

The writer knows the importance of copy editors; he used to be one. Well, so did I. He apparently thinks the job is on the way out, or at least those remaining practitioners will be very few, “artisanal.” His point is that there isn’t really a place for copy editing in online newspapering, where the goal is to get something up, fast, faster than the other guy.

LanguageHat, for his part, says he’ll notice when copy editors disappear. To that, I say thank you. I certainly would. (I’m not ready to concede that all copy editors are going to be out of a job any time soon.)

Editor’s Note: I did notice something a copy editor should have fixed in the article: multiply instead of multiple in the third paragraph from the bottom.)

Elementary, My Dear Watkins by Mindy Starns Clark

A silly, fun, quick read, Elementary, My Dear Watkins by Mindy Starns Clark is apparently the third book in the Smart Chick Mystery series.

I purchased the book, along with four others, at a friend’s garage sale yesterday, fully intending to save all of them for the approaching read-a-thon.

I really couldn’t help myself. I looked at the stack — consisting of light reading, mostly mysteries (Clark’s being no exception) — and just had to read this one. Now.

My biggest gripe about this book was a copy-editing miss. The town Jo Tulip, the main character, resides in, is spelled two different ways in the book: Mulberry Glen, and Mulberry Glenn. Ack! I think both spellings were used about the same number of times. I usually manage to read past such flubs, but I had a difficult time ignoring this one.

I dislike reading a book in a series without starting at the beginning of the series. I didn’t realize this was part of a series until right before I started reading it, and by then I didn’t want to give it up. If I had realized before plunking over my quarters, I might not have bought it at all, but I’m glad I did. It was a nice relaxing, happy, fun read for the weekend.

Now back to Cloudstreet!

Shoddy writing, take 2

Not all printing services are created equal and outputs differ in many ways like the level of customization possible, the binding materials and methods will your file be reviewed before printing? The type of paper used, and the quality of the printing itself. (Issues like type of printing device used, its age, on going maintenances, color management process, daily calibrations, skill of the operator and more) Also differ the level of service and support you will get, the shipping method used (resulting in shipping time, tracking ability, reliability), simplicity (no need to open an account), will your product be branded with the supplier brand, and more, All of these factors will eventually translate into the quality of your output and the level of customer experience.

Ack! I don’t even know where to start, if I need to tell you what’s wrong with this paragraph. Feel free, if you’ve got some time.

Here’s the rest of that page. Digi-labs prints cards, photobooks and calendars.

I’ve written before about how a company’s lack of grammar on its website will deter customers. This is just another instance, I guess. I really don’t understand how this gets published, though. Compose the text in a word processor, then look at what’s underlined with those squiggly red and green lines and why. Heck, you’re a company. Someone on staff should be able to compose a few communicative sentences. If this isn’t the case, either hire someone, outsource content editing, or educate your current staff. I’m not asking for high literature, just straightforward, clear communication.

New lexicon: Book = cool

Apparently “book” means “cool” now. This according to a glossary of British youth speak that I found at The Chocolate Interrobang.

While the entire lexicon is fun to immerse myself in, the entry for Book stood out to me:

book — cool. The first option given in predictive text when trying to type ‘c-o-o-l’.

So here we have not only a new definition for an old word, which relates to writing, but also a new usage created by a propensity for texting.

I myself don’t have much experience with texting (on my cell phone plan I have to pay per text message), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate this impact the practice is having on the culture at large.

Not all “text-speak” would be an improvement to the language at large — I will continue to cringe when someone speaks aloud “L-O-L” or “lol,” among others. But this is a new technology-produced definition I gladly embrace — remembering that I have a preexisting penchant for books.

That is so book! I’ll have to remember this one, and try it out in verbal communication.