How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Them’s Fighting Words


I don’t know if it’s maturity, experience or just plain crankiness. It appears I’ve become a nitpicker!

In the past few years, I’ve been noticing sloppy publishing in our local newspaper, which is skeletal compared to say The New York Times, and in the novels I love to devour as rapidly as I can. No matter how quickly I zip through some of them, I can’t seem to miss glaring typos. I recently read Stephen King’s tome 11/22/63 and except for the overuse of the word obdurate, I found no glaring typos. Do they even edit his books anymore?

I can’t speak about magazines as I rarely read them. Is it just me or are the proof-readers slacking off? Is this another job class that has disappeared from the workplace?

Our local newspaper, for instance, seems to have MORE corrections to sales advertising than I’ve been aware of in recent years. Daily. And it varies. Then there are the news items, some of which are printed from other papers from across the pond. This is a small sample I found on just two separate occasions because they JUMPED out at me. Maybe I noticed them because my glasses were clean.

  • …Michael minds the net during a friendly against the…(on the front PAGE!)
  • The man later retreated to home on…
  • In icons had intended to start shipping the…
  • Obama pointed point out that…
  • What some say is still is biggest problem…

Probably there is no use making a big deal about it and I’m not sure that I am, but why is this happening more rather than less? Is everyone in such a hurry to publish that the thought is: “Oh well, who’s going to notice anyway?”

I keep noticing and I don’t like it! What are standards for anyway?


Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

35 thoughts on “Them’s Fighting Words

  1. Maybe they hope that people won’t notice typos, and that they can slide by without proofreaders.


  2. Please do not reed my blog. It will make you’re head spin and your eieys fall out. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking aobut here. Enjoy always, T


  3. Ridiculous, isn’t it. I think there’s a category of people in the world who just don’t care about grammar and spelling and don’t think it matters. Maybe I’m just lucky that it comes pretty naturally to me, but I just think how stupid you make yourself look if you can’t string a sentence together.


    • I was an immigrant. Sure, I was four when we arrived but my education was also in Canada along with people born here. I cannot understand that people of second and third generation families, seem to think spelling and English aren’t important. On the other hand, all this texting and shortcuts on Twitter and Facebook and so on aren’t helping either.


  4. Your post reminded me of this BBC Web page item from last year:


  5. I think copy editors are out of fashion these days. I miss them, too!


  6. I agree … the other day I was reading a novel on my Kindle, and it was peppered with mistakes, (and some were real doozies). I suppose it feels like a bit of an insult, in that we’re expected to accept this second-rate version of editing without a complaint. You see it everywhere around you, whether in the newspaper, on a billboard, or even at the bank on their flashing screen out front. I am not amused.


  7. Oh, this is so funny! “Maybe I noticed them because my glasses were clean.” hahaha! I had to read over your quotes several times before I saw them – still not sure of the error in the first one… does that make me a dumbo? But don’t our eyes read with with a link to what we expect to read so it can be easy to not see a typo if the sense is still there. Your eyes must be working too well and clearly your glasses are too clean. Throw some mud on them and come join the dumbos! lol! hahaha! Great writing!


    • The first one reads: Michael minds the net during a friendly against the OK if I admit this morning I had to read it a couple of times to see what I was talking about? Time to clean my glasses. AGAIN. Thanks for stopping by.


  8. I agree. I am editing my current post about my speilling abilities and I made the same observation. Only recently have I noticed so many errors in published media-books and newspapers.


  9. This post needs a LOVE button. The last book I bought will be just that…the last book I buy. Unless I read it first, not one single dollar will be spent. The last one I bought was so riddled with typos and miserable grammar I had to wonder if it was published by lottery. It certainly was not for it strength of language, plot or character development.

    And considering I bought a first edition with NYTBS printed on the cover, one can only assume the boxes sold to book stores who will never sell the copies count. Publishers choose what will be popular…even when it never is.

    I am content reading a free copy before I earn one penny for the publishing houses who refuse to spend operating capital on cognizant employees who edit.

    2 more angry cents,


  10. I agree. There seems to be a growing issue. I have read books recently with extra sentences and problems. I often write it down in order to pass it on to someone, but then forget about it. It is sloppy.


    • Since I started writing DOWN actual bad sentences this past week, I feel I’ve opened up a can of worms. Writing them down and seeing the list grow each day is getting me down. However, because it’s an environment I cannot avoid, I’m going to try to be less judgemental / tolerant. NOT!


  11. This made me laugh, thanks. The answer though is yes proof readers and reading is way far down the list. I reread my own material time and again and constantly miss things, find myself correcting my own material weeks, even months later.

    In projects I manage we do what is called peer review of all materials going to clients, the problem? Half my consultants can’t write clear sentences or use the English language properly and yet I expect them to proof their peers material (palm face). I find I have to review nearly everything. My MSWord has a permanent Red Pencil for review.

    Loved This!


    • I agree that it’s difficult to proof your own work. It’s embarrassing when I miss something where I swear I’d been especially careful. I’m especially disappointed that what we pay for (books, newspapers etc.) is getting a bad rap because they are not getting the proper attention. It just feels so careless.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the read. I thank you for taking the time to comment.


  12. I LOVE it! Although I am notoriously terrible as a proofreader of my own material, I try. (Sadly,) I am an English teacher who struggles DAILY with this issue. Last week I was trying to explain dangling and misplaced modifiers to a bunch of (aptly named) sophomores who couldn’t understand the concept of WRONG in writing. “If that’s how I wrote it, why should YOU tell me it’s not right?” I said, “Because I have the degree that says I can, sweetheart.”

    I completely agree that professional, published material should be carefully edited and proofed!


    • It’s heartwarming to hear so many people agree with me.

      I know about proofreading your own work. No matter how hard I try, sometimes I find dumb little typos that are a week or more old. New eyes are definitely a bonus.

      Thanks so much for commenting. I like reading your blog.


  13. As always Tess I get a good laugh when visiting. I think you are right with the texting and tweeting abbreviated language popularity. Then there is also spell check – why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you. Really like your comment about not paying for a defective product. I may start requesting a partial refund from my local newspaper.


  14. I really REALLY hate to say this… but…. I think you meant “dirt chute”. So sorry!
    To answer your post… people don’t even speak correctly in the better public schools anymore. I think it follows that nobody can proofread. They don’t know what to look for. I work in a public school library and it’s just awful listening to the teachers and students. I constantly correct the kids, “Say ‘how many books do I have checked out’, not how much” but I can’t do anything about those teachers. It’s pathetic.


  15. Write a letter! You’re so feisty – I love it. Demand that they work harder at editing since that IS their job title.

    I love that earlier in the comments you said you’ve been writing down bad sentences – this just makes me so happy. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    I love this blog, more power to you!


    • Me feisty? Only when I get excited! I’m glad I’m in good company. Writing down bad sentences got me down because in just a few days the list was TOO long and I found it depressing seeing the results in black and white. I’ve quit. For a while, anyway.


  16. This, in a place where it should not be, is one of my pet peeves. The place where I get a lot of my news has typos and errors all over it, and this is supposed to be a “professional” venue! I’m not always the grammar nazi – there is a time and place – but don’t pretend to be professional if you don’t have a command of the language or a host of good editors reading your crap and fixing it! I know I’m late, but I just got home 🙂


Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

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