February 10, 2010
Corrections v Copy Editors
In the past two weeks I've had three corrections published in The Financial Times and one (pictured above and below) in today's New York Times.
So here's my question: are the papers getting sloppier due to cutbacks of staff/poorer qualification in those writing/proofing their stories, thus publishing more errors, or am I getting sharper and more attentive?
I hardly think the latter, nor is my internal response when I see a mistake any different than it was five years ago.
But my external actions differ markedly from, say, 10 years ago, to be sure.
Before the age of the internet I didn't bother snail-mailing a correction because the enormous effort involved v the reward was so out of proportion.
Now, though, especially with the web, an error is there for all to see once it's pointed out by a pain in the butt-type like me.
So there's a much greater incentive to correct what's wrong.
And it's so very simple, a simple email does the trick and Bob's your uncle.
As Brandeis didn't write, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."
When possible I try to notify the author of the piece as well as the paper or magazine, just for the heck of it and to be annoying and to see what she/he has to say about it, if anything.
Most are very gracious and, like me, pleased to have been corrected so their work is more accurate.
The one mistake I refuse to bother with any more is — by far — the most common single error in English language media, namely cord v chord, especially when it comes to the vocal type.
Maybe I'll toss a correction on this confusion into the mix one of these days, for old time's sake.
"The Gear Ring is made from high quality matte stainless steel. It features six micro-precision gears that turn in unison when the outer rims are spun (as can be seen in the video)."
Wrote Joe Peach, "This is time-lapse photography of last week's snowfall in Washington, D.C."
Video caption: "Time-lapse video of the February 5/6 snowfall in D.C. Nikon D200 set to make an exposure every 5 minutes. 328 frames at 12 fps."
Chocolate Light Switch
I'm a radio.
What is it?
Answer here this time tomorrow.
Nature App on iPhone/iPod touch — Free*, the way we like it
From Elizabeth Weise's item in yesterday's USA Today: "The august science journal Nature has launched an iPhone application that allows readers to search, browse, read and bookmark the full text of the journal that first began publishing back in 1869. It will also allow readers to search PubMed, the must-have search engine for life science and biomedical journals. The application will work on both the iPhone and the coming iPad. *Users will have access to the full text of all Nature content until April 30, 2010. After that they'll need to subscribe to the journal."
BehindTheMedspeak: Anesthesiologist Memory Stick
"The USB Doctor's joints bend at waist, knees and arms — remove the head (via surgery) to access the 2GB USB plug."
That oughta be enough to get through most cases, I guess.
For the rest, hey, that's what residency is for.
[via Ray Earhart]