This Opinionator blog post from the NY Times may come in handy for those
students working on dissertations this summer :-)
Some of you may have read this already-pls excuse any duplication
from the New York Times:
"The Price of Typos" by Virginia Heffernan
Opinionator blog July 17, 2011
..."Bad spellers are a breed apart from good ones. A writer with a
mind that doesn't register how words are spelled tends to see through
the words he encounters--straight to the things, characters, ideas,
images and emotions they conjure. A good speller, by contrast--the
kind who never fails to clock the idiosyncratic orthography of
"algorithm" or "Albert Pujols" --tends to see language as a system.
Good spellers are often drawn to poetry and wordplay, while bad
spellers, for whom language is a conduit and not an end in itself, can
excel at representation and reportage."
...Editors I spoke to confirmed my guesses. Before digital technology
unsettled both the economics and the routines of book publishing, they
explained, most publishers employed battalions of full-time copy
editors and proofreaders to filter out an author's mistakes. Now,
they are gone."
"There is also "pressure to publish more books more quickly than
ever," an editor at a major publishing house explained. Many
publishers now skip steps. "In the past, you really readied the book
in several discrete stages," Paul Elie, a senior editor at Farrar,
Straus and Giroux, explained. "Manuscript, galley proofs, revised
proofs, blue lines. You marked your changes at each stage, and then
the compositor incorporated them and sent you the next intermediate
stages of proof--the text is fluid, in motion, and this leads to
"Authors, too, bear some blame for the typo explosion...Use of the
word processor has resulted in a substantial decline in author
discipline and attention. Manuscripts are much longer than they were
25 years ago, much more casually assembled, and beyond spell check
(and not even then; and of course it will miss typos if the word is a
word) it is amazing how little review seems to have occurred before
the text is sent to the editor. Seriously, you have no idea how
sloppy some of these things are." ...
..."Rushing to publish and overlooking glaring typos may have become
part of the new economics of traditional publishing. But on the Web,
typos sometimes come with a price. "Spelling mistakes 'cost millions'
in lost online sales," said a BBC headline last week. The article
cited an analysis of British Web figures that suggested that a single
spelling mistake on an e-commerce site can hurt credibility so much
that online revenues fall by half."...
from the Opinionator blog-Virginia Heffernan, NY Times excerpts July
17, 2011 "The Price of Typos"
Karen Weaver, MLS
Electronic Resources Statistician
Duquesne University, Gumberg Library
Pittsburgh PA email: [log in to unmask]
Gmail: [log in to unmask]
Member, ALA COSWL Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship
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