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A Proofreader's Nightmare

You have letters - now what do you do with them?

Postby sluggo » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:01 pm

Disorderly conduct it may be, but inasmuch as the felons involved destroyed nothing, comparing such carryings-on to wholesale building destruction, arson and murder seems just a tad unrealistic.

Interestingly, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter is described in Gzer's link as "a chain-smoking perfectionist" :roll:
- but it is Wikipedia :P
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Postby sluggo » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:41 pm

Stargzer wrote:...
sluggo wrote:but methinks they overreacted in the penalty


Are you kidding?

Well-- no.

Stargzer wrote:No jail time, no fines; just a year to stay out of the National Parks and cool off. My heart bleeds for them.


That would have been reasonable, but:
They were also ordered to pay $3,035 to repair the watchtower sign.
- which I presume is the cost of bringing Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter back from the hereafter. Actually if that's the case it does seem cheap.

Stargzer wrote:I've heard your sound clips. Isn't there an 'r' missing in the third word of your sign? :lol:


A fair point :lol: But I can put one in for less than $3035 :wink:

Hey, for that sum I'll make ten signs that look just like the one in the story with no errors, including shipping :twisted:

When they say $3035 to replace the sign, is that with the same errors?

Reminds me of the Japanese factory that took an order from a US firm for parts and the client specified there be a limit of 5% defective parts; the factory filled the order and sent a separate package noted "here are your defective parts. We're not sure why you wanted them but you ordered them so we made them."

Defacement of public property, no question. But it should at least raise the question, why did it take vigilantism to fix an errant sign left unaddressed for seven decades?

I'm just amazed that considering the glaring errors exposed by the story, the buzz seems to be solely on criminal mischief, with nary a word on what should be a public embarrassment for having kept such a sign in place, so I see two stories here. If the sign itself is an artifact, there should be a sign referring to the sign- which could then explain the 'art' of textual misconduct.

Sluggo apparently values language over art :oops:
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:02 am

sluggo wrote: ...
Stargzer wrote:No jail time, no fines; just a year to stay out of the National Parks and cool off. My heart bleeds for them.


That would have been reasonable, but:
They were also ordered to pay $3,035 to repair the watchtower sign.
- which I presume is the cost of bringing Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter back from the hereafter. Actually if that's the case it does seem cheap.

Stargzer wrote:I've heard your sound clips. Isn't there an 'r' missing in the third word of your sign? :lol:


A fair point :lol: But I can put one in for less than $3035 :wink:

Hey, for that sum I'll make ten signs that look just like the one in the story with no errors, including shipping :twisted:

When they say $3035 to replace the sign, is that with the same errors?

...


Oops. I missed that part about the fine, although I remember it now. Still, for an art restorer, it's still probably a bargain.

It's like a boat. Take a simple automobile engine part, put a "Marine" label on it, and double the cost (at least!). On an old outboard motor I once had about 20 years ago, brushes for the generator and starter were something like $10 or so a set from the Johnson dealer, but about 35 cents a set when I got them from an auto parts store using the Prestolite model numbers! I also ended up making a replacement part for the generator, a 1/4" stud of some sort that had a square end that was pressed into some metal to pick up the output current, then went through an insulating sleeve. The part of the stud poking out of the sleeve was turned down and threaded to a 10-32 thread as I recall. I just took a stainless 10-32 bolt of sufficient length and some toothed lock-washers, tightened it down and filed the head down flat enough after installation to get it all back in. A machinist I'm not but I firmly believe my Patron Saint is Ruben Lucious Goldberg.

So, maybe that $3K+ fine will make them think harder, or at least not brag about it online! In the words of the old Dragnet theme: Dumb dumb-dumb-dumb. Dumb dumb-dumb-dumb DUUUMMMMBBBB!
Regards//Larry

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Postby sluggo » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:00 pm

-And I surfed right over the part about them posting their diary online. That's over the top.

Sluggo has edited many a less historic sign but felt no need to take personal credit
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Postby gailr » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:42 pm

Interesting thread, and a topic near to many of our hearts, apparently.

For awhile I kept a list of egregious spelling errors made by people who were writing "serious" bits (e.g.: not quickie email typos, which is a whole other kettle of ghoti). The examples I collected were gleaned from people exhorting others to Excellence in the business world, or who presented themselves as skilled wordmasters writing the Great American Short Story. The worst offenses were perpetrated by people attempting to use idioms without any understanding of their origin, and no thought given to whether they made any sense in context. Examples:
Better to rain in Hell than serve in Heaven. :cry:
(Amusing, if it had been intentional.)

When my list reached five (two-column) pages in less than a year, I stopped. It had ceased to be amusing and become depressing. Observing all the terrible spelling and grammar committed out of sheer laziness and/or thinking that stupidity is cute gives me a whole new perspective on "Jeremiads". :wink:
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Postby scw1217 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:48 am

sluggo wrote:If the sign itself is an artifact, there should be a sign referring to the sign- which could then explain the 'art' of textual misconduct.


I was just thinking that would be the best case scenario - a sign saying the sign has known errors. Fat chance they'd do it.
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Postby Stargzer » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:19 am

The further adventures of the the Despotic Duo ...

Just for grins, I Yahoo'd (Yahooed?) "emense" and got a number of hits, but the first valid one was an article:

Typo vigilantes answer to letter of the law
Crusaders whited-out, corrected historic Canyon sign


from The Arizona Republic. It seems one of the "malicious hooligans" (to use one of my favorite Chinese terms), Jeff Michael Deck, of Somerville, MA, is a Dartmouth graduate. Great. I'm suprised he didn't try to plant ivy around the tower while he was at it. Goldarn Damn Yankee Liberal Prescriptivist Scum!

As to the sign:

... they used a white-out product and a permanent marker to deface a sign painted more than 60 years ago by artist Mary Colter. The sign, a National Historic Landmark, was considered unique and irreplaceable, according to Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix.


It's a short read but it fills in some details. I think the best part might be the comments. There are 17 pages of them, but I've only read the first and last pages. Some are your typical not-worth-the-electrons-they're-written-with kind you see, but my favorite one was on the first page:


trainman wrote:Looks like they made an emense mistake.......


Stargzer, born and raise South of Mason and Dixon's Line, is impolite enough to tell them where they can put their correction pencils.
Regards//Larry

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Postby scw1217 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:31 am

trainman wrote:Looks like they made an emense mistake.......


On that line, I just received an email from audio software guru brand Roxio which reads "Share you family's favorite summer stories..." Needless to say, they have sent that out to their entire email list!
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Postby gailr » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:04 pm

scw1217 wrote:
sluggo wrote:If the sign itself is an artifact, there should be a sign referring to the sign- which could then explain the 'art' of textual misconduct.


I was just thinking that would be the best case scenario - a sign saying the sign has known errors. Fat chance they'd do it.


I envision a tableaux of signage explaining the signage...
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Postby Stargzer » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:20 pm

scw1217 wrote:
trainman wrote:Looks like they made an emense mistake.......


On that line, I just received an email from audio software guru brand Roxio which reads "Share you family's favorite summer stories..." Needless to say, they have sent that out to their entire email list!


Are you sure that was from Roxio and not some Spammer in Romania? :lol:

Oh, yeah; you're right--the Romanian would have used correct English grammar!
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Postby sluggo » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:50 am

gailr wrote:
scw1217 wrote:
sluggo wrote:If the sign itself is an artifact, there should be a sign referring to the sign- which could then explain the 'art' of textual misconduct.


I was just thinking that would be the best case scenario - a sign saying the sign has known errors. Fat chance they'd do it.


I envision a tableaux of signage explaining the signage...


In retrospect there must have been something and I'm sure our pro-verbial vigilantes were misled by the sign reading:

"Worning:
Debasement of gummint propaply is punissable by finds witch may be accessive"
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Postby gailr » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:50 am

sluggo wrote:"Worning:
Debasement of gummint propaply is punissable by finds witch may be accessive and emense."


...fixed it fer ya...
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Postby Perry » Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:49 pm

gailr wrote:
sluggo wrote:"Worning:
Debasement of gummint propaply is punissable by finds witch may be accessive and emense."


...fixed it fer ya...
:P :P
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Postby sluggo » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:12 pm

gailr wrote:...fixed it fer ya...


Gotcha. That'll be $3035 plus 63¢ for inflation.
But you'll in the nooze.
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Postby skinem » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:19 pm

During the early 1990s is when I first ran across the concept of "creative spelling" in education circles.
This was a school of thought that it would be better to allow creative spelling in teaching children how to write. The thinking was that to demand accurate spelling would crush (and I'm sure emotionally scar the tender darlin's for life) the creative process in writing and that it was more important to nurture the desire to write.
Personally, I just thought it helped to create bad habits and reinforce the idea that spelling isn't important.

Seems to me this school of thought is winning...
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