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Thing #91 – Dear Fish Wrapper August 23, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, random stuff.

Dear Democrat and Chronicle:

I can’t help wondering if your organization may be short an editor or a proofreader or something.

Could it be possible that you’re using volunteers to proofread your material?  I mean, I understand that times are hard, circulation is down, and advertisers may be drying up a bit.  All that must make it difficult to get good help, no?

However, it just doesn’t strike me as the best policy to flaunt your lack of mastery of the English language.  Surely, you’re not so proud of your (ahem) mad editing skillz as to truly want to highlight the grammatical errors in your paper, are you?

Surely you’d realize that a notice plastered across the “TV Week” section of the Sunday paper – bright yellow, with “ATTENTION READERS!” in red might – just might! – draw the attention of, oh, say, a reader or two?

It truly is not that difficult to figure out how to work an apostrophe.  “In it’s place we are offering ROCtv”?  Really?  IT’S?

Now I understand that pronouns can get tricky at times and none more so than “it.”  It should not be that complicated for someone whose very livelihood revolves around communication to understand the difference between the possessive form of a word (its) and a contraction (it’s = it is).  Sure, mistakes happen.  Sloppiness creeps in.

But here’s the thing.

As (ahem) media professionals, shouldn’t you be held to at least as high a standard as we hold lesser mortals – like, say, the average middle school student?

Isn’t it your job, as Rochester’s only daily newspaper, to use the language properly?  Shouldn’t you be serving the community by setting an example?

There are several resources available for help with basic grammar and punctuation.  May I suggest, to start, a handy guide on How to Use An Apostrophe?

If all else fails, I am happy to offer my services as a part-time proofreader.   You’d have to pay me though, and I’m not sure you have the budget for that.


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1. mazco34 - August 23, 2011

What really irks me is the misuse of the following homophones:

1. were – where – wear – we’re
2. their – there – they’re
3. your – you’re

Sometimes I think it’s just pure laziness that causes these mistakes.

Absolutely. Laziness on the part of the mistake-makers and on the part of those who were supposed to teach them better.

2. judy - August 23, 2011

Good completion of #91! The subject frustrates many of us.

I know. I mean, I can (mostly) deal when it’s just regular people, but journalists? Professional writers? Where do they find these people?

3. anne - August 23, 2011

Argggh, that stuff drive’s me crazy! 😀 I try not to be a grammar nazi, but when I see errors on signs and in print, well, there is no excuse.

Toys, you’ll appreciate this from your professional perspective. There is a large, attractive office building near here, which apparently houses a legal firm on its top floor. The sign on the outside of the building, professionally made and bolted to the building, reads “Flotsam and Jetsam, Attorney’s at Law.”

Attorney’s what??

You know, I’ve come to expect comma abuse from attorneys, but that is just . . . egregious. 😯

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