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?

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
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8 Responses to DOWN WITH EDITORS…

  1. It’s all to do with a second rate education.


  2. adeeyoyo says:

    I agree with Cindy. The local rag is full of examples too. It’s not limited to the written word either – have you listened to the TV? This has been going on for years and, because it has been allowed, it is now viewed as acceptable.


    • colonialist says:

      Ah yes, another pet peeve. Half the time I wonder what they are on about – it doesn’t even sound like English. Then, of course, a lot of what one finds on BBC TV is the same.


  3. cindy says:

    I predict that it will become worse still, as long as BEE stings are the order of the day and quota is the deciding factor in employing editors. The editor now is simply someone who uses a computer spell-check programme, that does not see ‘to’ or ‘two’ or ‘too’ as wrong …


  4. Tokeloshe says:

    Ah hope yo’ feel better soon, so thet yo’ kin put on yer cowfella hat an’ boots, mebbe some country moosic t’set th’ mood, mozey on on over t’mah blog an’ tell me whut yo’ reckon of mah latess post.

    Yo’ an’ yer better ha’f take care now yo’ hear.


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