A c/p of a L- post to tide me over while I do a dash into the hinterland (winterland?) to enter into a state of freeze in the freeze state. Should I survive, I shall probably be posting pics and fings on Monday…
I have been wondering lately whether standards of editing are steadily slipping. One expects some mistakes to creep into newspapers and periodicals due to the rushed nature of production, but even so the incidence of quite blatant ones seems to be on the increase. Hardly an article seems free of some spelling error or misuse of grammar, to an extent far in excess of what I recall having noticed in the past.
Terms like ‘it was suppose to be’ or ‘it use to be’ instead of ‘supposed’ or ‘used’ have become common currency. People understand that ‘the dog runs’ but ‘the dogs run’, and yet as soon as anything goes in between they lose it (not loose it!) – ‘the dog, in furious pursuit of the rabbits, run across the field’. You will get ‘Its easy to see that it’s leg is sore’ instead of ‘It’s (contraction of ‘it is’) easy to see that its (dictionary word as the possessive) leg is sore’. Plurals are formed with apostrophes which should strictly be reserved to denote missing letters, or to signify a possessive. And so on.
It is ironic that books turned out by professional publishers, in an era when computers should do most of the work for them, seem to be more riddled with errors than in the past. I can’t recall ever having picked up typos in old volumes of Dickens, for example, but books of big-name authors from mainstream publishers have numerous silly and avoidable glitches. I have just grabbed a book by Erica James (ORION) being read by Much Better Half to illustrate, and it wasn’t long before I came across: ‘Just as a car going much to fast was approaching.’
What do you think? Have I just become more observant from all the practice of editing my own books as well as doing professional edits for others? Or is editorial quality going downhill generally as I suspect?