Proofreader Brain

This is what it’s like to have Proofreader Brain: I found this infographic at the Ocean Conservancy’s website. It has lots of interesting/horrifying information about the trash we let in and near our oceans…and yet all I can think is “PUERTO RICO IS NOT A COUNTRY!”


The List Fantastic

NPR just released the results of a call for the hundred best sci-fi/fantasy books according to their listeners/website readers. I am sort of saddened that I’ve only read 15 of the outright books*, and honestly, didn’t like many of them (one of the two Terry Pratchett entries is also the only Pratchett book I have ever sold off).

Of course, it’s hard to calculate just how many to say I’ve read: entire series were granted one entry each, and of those, I’ve read:

  • One book in the Belgariad
  • Four in the Wheel of Time series
  • About 12 Xanth books
  • The first Dune
  • Every damned Vorkosigan book. 😀
  • The Fellowship of the Ring

Sometimes I think I’m just contrarian: even The Last Unicorn isn’t my favorite Peter S. Beagle book!

Et Tu, NPR?

I know I can count on Yahoo! for a …unique… approach to word usage, but I expect better from NPR’s book reviews. Instead:

“Writer Mira Bartok was 40 years old when a semi-trailer hurled into her car on the New York Thruway.”

The word is hurtled. “Hurl,” used in formal speech, needs an object: “She hurled an eraser at the book reviewer.”

The only reason “hurl,” needs no object in its slang sense is because it’s a euphemism—that is, used specifically to avoid mentioning the substance you, er, hurl when you hurl.

I’m no stranger to this kind of disappointment with NPR—it seems that eventually, apprise vs. appraise will cause me to lose respect for absolutely everybody in the whole world, until one day I flub it myself and the universe goes up in smoke—but I never expected something quite so gross.

Oh, Yahoo!, You Never Disappoint

(I know: this is what I come back for after an absence of months?)

Two little online headlines and how they misfire:

1) “Shooting cripples Ala. University Department”—Well, probably. And yet, no, no no. Either a really poor inadvertent choice of words or a pun about things a bit too grim for punnery.

2) “Dalai Lama–Obama meeting about style”—This one took a bit more searching, but apparently they mean “style over substance,” a very tight definition of style and, frankly, not nearly as much fun as things initially sounded. “That saffron color is really you!”

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Imponderables / Terms I Just Made Up, Part V

The imponderable: why do people send e-mails asking me to “just look at [this] for grammar and spelling” when that is already 90% of my job?

The Term: Businesscardia
Category: Professional

When you proofread so many business cards your heart yearns for anything else.*

*(Except a calendar: I hate calendars.)

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Quick Hits: Not Quite As Intended?

From a local paper:  Highway floral displays face cuts

From an e-mail, in which a chocolate shop was apparently having an Easter sale: 20% off Toady!!!!
(The poor toady: you know it’s a harsh economy when even henchmen get downsized…)

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Misplaced Madness!

From Yahoo!, of course:

Fish eats cell phone, still works after a week

Thank heavens–I don’t know where you take a fish for warranty service.

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