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Karen writes :

> This Opinionator blog post from the NY Times may come
> in handy for those students working on dissertations this
> summer† :-)

For my part, however, I'm not at all sure to what extent those
students working on dissertations this summer, or at any other
time, or indeed any one else, should put faith in such -- to all
appearances -- cavalier assertions as the following :

> 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 . . . tends to see language as
> a system.

I have, myself, very real doubts that there exist any
demonstrable significant correlations of the sort being
simplistically and nonchalantly posited here. ( Am I the
only one ? )

I don't notice that Heffernan alludes to any studies that
would serve to back up her seemingly off-the-cuff obiter
dicta. [ Slight redundancy intentional, for purposes of
emphasis :-). ]

Have such hypotheses in fact ever been a subject of any
credible research ?† How, indeed, could one best *go about
testing* them ?† I'd be genuinely interested to hear from
anyone who is aware of any relevant published results at all.
Especially since this *looks* like an urban myth which
Heffernan is serving up for us.


- Laval Hunsucker
†Antwerpen, BelgiŽ



----- Original Message -----
> From: Karen Weaver <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Cc:
> Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 1:46 AM
> Subject: Price of Typos, or, Rushing to Publish-Virginia Heffernan, NY Times
>
>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
> --Best, kw
>
> from the New York Times:
>
> "The Price of Typos"† by Virginia Heffernan
>
> Opinionator blog† July 17, 2011
>
> Excerpts:
>
> ..."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."
>
> Excerpts:
> ...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
> typos."
>
> "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." ...
>
> Excerpts:
>
> ..."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
> Collection Management
> Duquesne University, Gumberg Library
> Pittsburgh PA email: [log in to unmask]
> Gmail: [log in to unmask]
> Twitter: @ka_weaver
>
> Member, ALA COSWL Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship
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>