ONLINE EDITOR WANTED

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 | Uncategorized

Apply Associated Press:

“We all must continue to fight for our right to petition our government for redressive grievances. We all have a right to collective bargaining,” said a woman impersonating Abigail Adams, the wife of the second president.

53 Comments to ONLINE EDITOR WANTED

Undergroundpewster
June 22, 2011

ROTFLOL

Allen Lewis
June 22, 2011

Just another group of protesters who want to continue to feed in the public trough while the taxpayers pay for their “rights.”

No doubt the AP writer who wrote this and the copy editor who passed it through are products of the public education system that the NEA and other teachers’ unions have bankrupted with their demands.

Michael D
June 23, 2011

I take it that the word “impersonating” is what has you rolling on the floor and looking for a new editor? The silliness of the quote “fight for the right to petition” surely must be laid on the woman quoted.

Christopher Johnson
June 23, 2011

Michael D,

Scroll past the ads and read this. You’ll see it.

:-)

Michael D
June 23, 2011

Aha, yes. She was quoting, and the reporter should have known the text. That’s funny.

“Impersonating” is an odd choice of word as well. You’d have to dress like a skeleton to impersonate Abigail Adams.

Fuinseoig
June 23, 2011

Ah, mistaking “redress of” for “redressive”.

Here’s where I get to grumble about kids these days and what are they teaching them in school! I’m seeing a lot of elementary errors online such as this; people who are using terms they’ve heard, but never seen written down, so they go by what they hear as pronunciation. My pet peeve (I tend it so carefully, grooming it daily and feeding it only the choicest morsels) is the use of “per say” for per se.

Don’t get me started on the American habit of saying “bonafied” for bona fide (boh-na fee-day)

;-)

LaVallette
June 23, 2011

What the blazes does “We all must continue to fight for our right to petition our government FOR REDRESSIVE grievances.” mean? “TO REDRESS” surely? And I am not even an American!!!

PS: You have the right to petition the government until the cows come home, however if the government refuses to agree with your petition it does not translate into a denial of your right to continue to petition.

Bob the Ape
June 23, 2011

Where are my redressive grievances? I’ve been paying taxes for almost 40 years and the government hasn’t given me ONE redressive grievance! I WANT MY REDRESSIVE GRIEVANCES!

Sinner
June 23, 2011

We all have a right to collective bargaining

No. you don’t. You did in Communist Russia – but the United States has Individual Rights, not collective rights

it really is that simple.

Katherine
June 23, 2011

If she’s a teacher, I’m sorry to say that it could be what she actually said.

Kelso
June 23, 2011

The one that always gets me is “inalienable” as pronounced “alien” which makes no sense. It is actually “in a lien able” as in “no lien may be placed against your rights”.

Ed the Roman
June 23, 2011

My peeve is people who say flaunt when they mean flout.

Terry
June 23, 2011

Fuinseoig –

I happen to be a big fan of “for all intensive purposes.” I mean, what could possess more purpose than a purpose that’s intensive?

Fuinseoig
June 23, 2011

Terry, I’ve recently seen that one as well!

There’s the common and easily understandable transposition errors, e.g. typing “rouge” for “rogue”.

But there’s also the homophone ones, where people are not sure of the difference between “reins/reigns/rains”. And the one that personally drives me spare, mixing up “principal” and “principle” – I’ve seen that one in a paperback book put out by a mass market publishing company, not a vanity press, and it took me all my willpower not to grab a pen and write in a correction. I think that editing is a lost art and is seen as too expensive/labour intensive, so once the worst spelling errors are corrected, anything else can slip through.

Newspapers have gotten much worse, though; I think that it’s down to computerised typesetting and, once again, time and money being too precious to waste on proof-reading.

Fuinseoig
June 23, 2011

Oh, and “cite/site/sight”, and of course “there/their/they’re” and the like. Do schools not teach spelling anymore?

Dave
June 23, 2011

The one that always gets me is “inalienable” used for “unalienable.”

Therese Z
June 23, 2011

Chaise Longue vs chaise lounge!

And there’s a car commercial running right now that says “a destination gets you from point A to point B.” What? What?

Miss Sippi
June 23, 2011

Hey, I teach Freshman Composition every now and then. Tell me about it.
And having discovered that I agree with Sinner, I must go lie down for a bit.

Ben
June 23, 2011

@Kelso, I’m actually fairly certain it’s “unalienable” as in (moving the parts around) “un-able” to be “alien”ated from (that is, “removed from”) the person in question. It suggests that the rights are a part of their natural being, which was a hot topic in political philosophy at the time.

It trades on the sense of the word that was in use at the time, alien as foreign or at a distance, rather than little green men.

John1
June 23, 2011

Chris, let’s make it easy for everyone.

“…right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Constitution, amendment 1.

Grandmother
June 23, 2011

It should be “redress OF grievances” NOT “ive”…

The one that drives me craziest, is “I don’t want to “LOOSE” my audience” which promptly makes him/her lose me. VERY common even among so-called intellectuals.

Snarky Grandmother

SouthCoast
June 23, 2011

Obviously, public speaking is just not the woman’s fort-ay.

Martial Artist
June 23, 2011

@Kelso,

Actually, in law it is five (5) syllables, not the four (4) you suggest. You will find it used much in property law, including Federal property law governing the righst of members of the native tribes, such as the Indian Alienation Acts (mostly in 25 U.S.C.) which, among other issues governs the rights of individual Indians who own their own land on tribal reservations. There are two categories of “individually owned Indian lands” (emphasis added):

• Trust land – The federal government holds legal title but the beneficial interest remains with the Individual Indian.

• Restricted fee land – An individual Indian holds legal title but with legal restrictions against alienation or encumbrance.

And it is pronounced a-lee-ən-a-shun by every attorney I have ever encountered.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

Martial Artist
June 23, 2011

@Fuinseoig,

editing is a lost art and is seen as too expensive/labour intensive, so once the worst spelling errors are corrected, anything else can slip through.

Yes, indeed. But, fear not, because

Spell cheque checque is hear two stay!

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töofer

Martial Artist
June 23, 2011

Oops!

That should have read “Spell cheque Czech is hear two stay!”

I guess that’s what happens when one is interrupted by a phone call while hurriedly editing.

;-)

Keith Töpfer

Geosez
June 23, 2011

Ooh, ooh, can I play? Misuse of fewer/less, putting an apostrophe before EVERY final “s”, “Please bare with me” and several more that don’t come to mind yet but will when I watch the evening news or read the paper. AND I am here to announce that there is no “shoe” in “judiciary” and the words “realtor” and “athlete” have only two syllables. Oh, and my favorite local one: “flustrated”. No joke.

William Tighe
June 23, 2011

My favorite remains that of a student who, in her term paper over 20 years ago, wrote “It’s a doggie-dog world” for “It’s a dog-eat-dog world.”

Smurf Breath
June 23, 2011

“You did in Communist Russia”

Did anyone have a right to anything in communist russia?

Sinner, I suspect you’d have as much rights in Iran as you’d have in communist russia. Why haven’t you gone there yet to assert your collective rights?

ann r
June 23, 2011

Don’t forget “nucular”.

Smurf Breath
June 23, 2011

Do collective rights include the right to abrogate individual liberty? Neeever mind.

Katherine
June 23, 2011

One of my daughters makes her living as a technical writer correcting spelling, diction, and grammatical problems in her company’s written materials before they leave the premises. She also has to deal with materials that don’t make any sense as written. All of the above irritating errors are things she sees routinely. The company is trying to hire an assistant for her, looking at resumes from people with degrees in English literature. They’re having considerable trouble finding someone with a properly edited resume and an interest in correcting mistakes. Journalism majors are out of the question, mostly.

Ed the Roman
June 23, 2011

A cartoon from long ago: cooling towers and a containment vessel behind a chain-link fence, bearing the slogan, “No One Who Says ‘Nucular’ Admitted Beyond This Point.”

The Little Myrmidon
June 23, 2011

Please remember that all these protesters are getting a day’s pay to do this, while the Tea Partiers are not.

Kelso
June 23, 2011

When I was recalling “inalienable” rights from the Declaration of Independence I wasn’t smart enough to note it actually reads “unalienable”! I must have been channeling Bishop Fireball Watts. Thanks for setting me straight.

Gregg the obscure
June 23, 2011

“Flustrated” beats “fustrated” hands down.

One of my three bosses uses “reactionary” (which I am) when he means “reactive” or even “hysterical” (which my other two bosses too often are).

The young fogey
June 23, 2011

Katherine: sounds like my line of work for 16 years.

Dale Matson
June 23, 2011

I recently published a book but had to remove a quote from a one paragraph AP article in the manuscript because the “Permission” would have cost me $170.00 for my first run. Of the ten newspaper sources referenced,only the AP wanted money.

Christopher Hathaway
June 23, 2011

one thing that drives me nuts that I see way to often is could’ve, or should’ve and would’ve et cet., written as could of. This doesn’t seem to be a simple brain mixup or confusion. They actually think that those are the words being used. Onew oul think that reading of proper literature would clue them in to what is being hyphenated.

Christopher Hathaway
June 23, 2011

Irony: way too often.

Fuinseoig
June 24, 2011

I think the trend for business gurus and management-speak is responsible for some real horrors. I wouldn’t be at all surprised, Geosez, if the perpetrator of “flustrated” ends up with his or her own “Latest Faddy Trend” management best-seller.

Why? Because, in a business class that was part of an adult education course I recently completed, I was at the stage of tearing out my hair from having to listen to such words as “satisfice” being used. Yes, some smart business whizz-kid melded together “satisfaction” and “sacrifice” to describe “the acceptance that one may have to yield on one point to gain agreement on the rest, or that one cannot get all that one might wish and so may have to settle for less”.

Or, as all our mothers told us when we were bratty kids looking for stuff, “‘I want’ doesn’t get”.

Allen Lewis
June 24, 2011

My favorite is using your for you’re. Example: “I am not sure you know what your talking about.”

I see this so often I am beginning to think that most of the people in the US are dyslectic.

Chris M
June 24, 2011

I feel murderous rage when people say “excape” when they mean “escape”

Katherine
June 24, 2011

Good heavens, Fuinseoig. The whiz kid had never heard of “compromise” or “negotiate”?

The Little Myrmidon
June 24, 2011

It’s hard to say which person was the most egregiously wrong in the quoted sentence. Did the teacher actually say that? Don’t know, although her idea that the Constitution might actually guarantee collective bargaining doesn’t say much about her grasp of the issues. Is it more likely that she spoke the words “redress of grievances” correctly and the reporter was too stupid to look it up (or more likely didn’t realize it was a quote at all) Again, hard to say. I recall quite distinctly being in a water-ballet production of Peter Pan one summer and the reporter covering it wanted to make sure he’d gotten the name correctly for the child playing
“Tinkle-Bell.” I was only 8 r 9 at the time and thought the reporter was an idiot not to have known the character was Tinkerbell.

Martial Artist
June 24, 2011

@Katherine,

You wrote:

One of my daughters makes her living as a technical writer correcting spelling, diction, and grammatical problems in her company’s written materials … The company is trying to hire an assistant for her

Might I be so bold as to inquire in what part of the country the firm is located. I am about to “retire” from my government employment and am looking for a replacement position. If the position is near Seattle, or one can work remotely (email/internet) I would be potentially very interested.

One does not need a degree in English literature in order to be a good proofreader/editor. One only needs to be literate and well read, understand correct grammatical English usage and have a reasonably broad vocabulary. These are attributes in which I was educated beginning in the latter 1950s.

I do not anticipate actually retiring for a fair number of years, but am frustrated with the amateurish software tools that my current occupation employs and, although I have worked as a software developer, the particular market for our applications make for a very small market space.

Thanks,
Keith Töpfer

Katherine
June 24, 2011

Keith, she’s in the belly of the beast, suburban northern Virginia, alas. I’ll ask if the job could be online, but I rather doubt it. You’re right about the English degree; in fact, she’s finding that a number of people with that credential are unqualified to do proofreading.

Katherine
June 24, 2011

Keith, they want someone who can come into the office in suburban Washington (D.C., not the West Coast).

Jay Random
June 24, 2011

Dear me, the hazards of hypercorrection. It seems that every time someone starts ranting about correct English, a bunch of people pile on to volunteer their own pet errors which they fondly believe to be correct.

@Fuinnseoig: Don’t get me started on the American habit of saying “bonafied” for bona fide (boh-na fee-day)

OED gives ‘boh-na fie-dee’ as the only correct pronunciation in English. If you’re going to insist on correct Latin pronunciation of Latinate terms in this language, you’re about 1500 years too late.

Yes, some smart business whizz-kid melded together “satisfaction” and “sacrifice”

I agree, satisfice is a monstrosity. When I was subjected to it, however, I was told it was a portmanteau of satisfy and suffice. This is equally stupid, but at least a more natural kind of stupidity.

@Kelso: It is actually “in a lien able” as in “no lien may be placed against your rights”.

No, it’s actually ‘inalienable’ as in ‘cannot be alienated’. The word is entirely unrelated to ‘lien’, which comes via French from Latin ligamen ‘bond’ (think ‘ligament’).

@Dave: The one that always gets me is “inalienable” used for “unalienable.”

That’s at least defensible, because inalienable is the normal English word, and unalienable a rare alternative chiefly current in the 18th century. If the latter had not been used in the Declaration of Independence, most Americans would be entirely unaware of its existence. In current usage it occurs only in the phrase ‘unalienable right(s)’, and even there, I believe, it is not generally used outside the U.S.

@ann r: Don’t forget “nucular”.

That one goes right back to the original Latin: you can find it in Plautus. The Latin word nucleus was originally nuculeus, a diminutive of nux, meaning ‘the kernel of a nut’. The second u was elided in classical and later Latin. The return of the prodigal u is, I suppose, a development that only an etymologist could love; but it is no less proper than leaving out the u in the first place.

@Christopher Hathaway: one thing that drives me nuts that I see way to often is could’ve, or should’ve and would’ve et cet., written as could of.

Could’ve &c. are in themselves entirely unnecessary. Could have is the correct written English. The ’ve spelling is a foul and benighted attempt to represent the normal English pronunciation. As Fowler pointed out nearly a century ago (and it still holds true today), in the sentence ‘The horse has hurt his hoof’, it is as great a solecism to pronounce the h in has and his as to leave it out in the other words. But nobody would think it an improvement to write The horse ’as hurt ’is hoof. The h in could have is likewise silent in all ordinary speech.

The lenitions and elisions of spoken English are proper to speech and will be naturally provided by every speaker when reading aloud; there is no need to uglify one’s writing by trying to indicate them orthographically.

* * *

Now that I’ve made my quota of enemies for the day, I shall let you return to your regularly scheduled combox. *rueful grin*

SouthCoast
June 25, 2011

Just for the sake of getting in the last words, I wish to express my disdain for “Where are you located at?”, which combines redundancy with the sin of the dangling preposition. And, just for the reocrd, I was taught that “less” is qualitative and “fewer” is quantitative, as in, “Because there is less moisture in the air, there are fewer raindrops.” Whew. Such a (fleeting) feeling of satisfaction this venting has provided…

Smurf Breath
June 25, 2011

The Latin word nucleus was originally nuculeus, a diminutive of nux, meaning ‘the kernel of a nut’. The second u was elided in classical and later Latin.

I think you’re committing a fallacy similar to the etymological fallacy. Words have current definition that can’t be “corrected” by appealing to their etymology. Similarly, words have a correct spelling and pronunciation that you can’t legitimately correct by appealing to the way it was spelled (in another language) thousands of years ago. It’s a quaint little factoid, but hardly grounds for correcting someone. It would be like two people named ‘James’ and ‘Jacob’ arguing with each other as to whose name was the ‘correct’ one.

Jay Random
June 25, 2011

I think you’re committing a fallacy similar to the etymological fallacy. Words have current definition that can’t be “corrected” by appealing to their etymology. Similarly, words have a correct spelling and pronunciation that you can’t legitimately correct by appealing to the way it was spelled (in another language) thousands of years ago.

No fallacy at all. The word nuculeus originally changed to nucleus because ordinary people speaking ordinary Latin came to pronounce it differently over time. Nowadays, nuclear is changing (in spoken English) to nucular because ordinary people speaking ordinary English are coming to pronounce it differently.

I’m not ‘appealing to the way it was spelled thousands of years ago’. I’m saying that pronunciation change happens, just as it has always happened. Phonetic change giveth, and phonetic change taketh away: blessed be the name of phonetic change. And if you don’t like it, go and cry to Jimmy Carter. He was a qualified nuclear engineer before he went into politics, and he doesn’t say ‘nuclear’. In fact, I have heard that nuclear engineers in general make a point of saying ‘nucular’, just to show that they aren’t intimidated by riff-raff like English majors.

Smurf Breath
June 27, 2011

Jimmah is a qualified peanut farmer and theological cretin in his spare time. I wouldn’t trust him to give me the time of day.

I seriously doubt you can show any hard evidence that people who say “nucular” are really trying to revert to a legitimate former pronounciation. In my experience, and those of others, they simply don’t know any better and say it that way because it rolls off the tongue easier in certain uneducated circles. Please give one documented case of someone using this pronounciation because they think a 3000 year old latin pronounciation supersedes correct English pronounciation if you really think you have a legitimate correction to make.

Remember, you can’t just start off with the mere desire to correct people, and then “correct” them, even if there is nothing to correct. There has to be an actual error that needs correction. And pulling a 3000 year old non-standard usage you claim that “Jimmah” and some of his buddies use is not really a correction.

Otherwise, instead of being “hypercritical”, you end up being “hypo”… let’s just say “inconsistent”…

;)

Jay Random
June 29, 2011

I seriously doubt you can show any hard evidence that people who say “nucular” are really trying to revert to a legitimate former pronounciation.

So what? That isn’t what I’m arguing. I am saying that pronunciations change. ‘Nuclear’ only exists because of phonetic change in the first place. Only a complete idiot would expect the pronunciation to stay the same forever.

Please give one documented case of someone using this pronounciation because they think a 3000 year old latin pronounciation supersedes correct English pronounciation if you really think you have a legitimate correction to make.

First off, the Latin pronunciation is not 3000 years old. There is no hard evidence that the Latin language even existed 3000 years ago. Don’t make yourself look unnecessarily stupid by fighting against straw men.

Second, the whole thing about pronunciations is that they are NOT documented: they are spoken, and usually not recorded. Verba volent, scripta manent. Your request is every bit as silly as The Mad Revisionist’s request to have physical evidence of the existence of the moon sent to him by email. Except that he is being deliberately silly, and as far as I can tell, you think you’re being serious.

Third, I do not ‘have a legitimate correction to make’. I am saying that the alleged correction people like you keep trying to make is not, in fact, a correction at all. To say that nuclear must be pronounced ‘new-clee-ar’ because it is spelt that way . . . well, that’s the worst argument anybody could ever offer about any English word.

Do you pronounce knife ‘kuh-nee-feh’? Do you pronounce debt ‘debb-ut’? Of course not. Knife is pronounced the way it is because of a long history of sound changes, but the spelling is about 1000 years out of date. Debt was never pronounced with a B, but some academic idiot with more influence than brains decided it should have a B in it to remind people that it came from Latin debitum. (In Middle English it was spelt dette.)

In other words, English orthography and English pronunciation are always changing, and they change more or less independently of each other.

Let me repeat: I am not making a correction. I am pointing out that the ‘correction’ you and some others are trying to make is, in fact, no correction at all. People have a perfect right to pronounce words according to the practice of their own dialect, which will naturally change from time to time. Southern Americans have as much right to say ‘nucular’ as Englishmen have to pronounce ‘bird’ with a silent R. Deal with it.

And stop trying to tell a linguist that he’s being a hypocrite for pointing out the facts of the situation. That won’t wash.

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