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To be fair, I doubt that any editor would "skip over" an error assuming a later editor would fix it. It's more likely that having skim read the proof and found it to be generally good that they don't bother with a proper proof-read. The other issue is that it's actually really hard to proof-read your own work. Of course you'll find many issues, but when reading it a lot of the time you're really just "re-playing" in your head what you intended to write, rather than reading the characters on the page.
A service I provide is proof reading websites (including checking for consistent terminology, consistent capitalisation etc) and I frequently find errors which the authors are really embarrassed about, having read, re-read and read again looking for - and missing - typos. I'm aware that having set myself up as a "proof reader" I am very much at risk when making changes to my own website!
This is quite a thread now and I'm wondering whether the OP really intended the typo in the subject line... (though I'm fairly sure that's a typing error rather than a language error, if it wasn't deliberate)
I doubt that any editor would "skip over" an error assuming a later editor would fix it. It's more likely that having skim read the proof and found it to be generally good that they don't bother with a proper proof-read.
Yeah, they won't ignore an error if they find it, but they won't do as much trouble finding it because someone else will (hopefully) do that already.
checking for consistent terminology
This is so important and hard to do!
I often find myself starting an article talking about, for examples, "releases", but when I continue the next day, or after lunch or whatever, I continue with "deployments".
You won't even notice it when reading the entire work.
It's also very important to stick to the terminology of the tools you're using.
For example, Azure DevOps has "release pipelines", so call them that and not "deployment pipelines".
Most editors probably wouldn't even notice, but for someone going through your article and looking for "deployment pipelines" it can be really confusing!
Capitalization is also a thing. For example, when I first mention something, I often capitalize it.
Example: "You will find Pipelines in the left-hand menu. This is where you can create and manage pipelines. So go to pipelines and you will see..."
Or: "You will find 'Pipelines' in the left-hand menu. This is where you can create and manage pipelines. So go to 'Pipelines' and you will see..."
Pipelines doesn't have to be capitalized, but when I'm talking about an actual caption on a button, I like to be very specific by using the exact capitalization the button uses, but that looks weird so I quote it too.
"Click the 'Post Message' button at the bottom of the screen, this will post the message in The Lounge."
Consistent writing is probably the hardest part about writing.
One more thing that's really a bitch, British English vs. American English.
The media I get to see, read, play and hear is mostly American, so it's capitalization and not capitalisation.
Google will even mark the S as a typo
As a non-native English speaker I really don't know which is what and I can be found writing the proper capitalization of different colours
In proper English (or "British English" as the USians say, arrogantly trying to make out that it is merely a dialect of their own butchered version of English) both versions are correct. The "z" version is supposedly older English (that went over on the Mayflower, some say) while the "s" version in "modern" English is influence by those pesky French persons who have for centuries fiddled with perfectly good English to make it more like their weird language! This is apocryphal. Actually older English used "s" everywhere except for loan words from French such as "blazon" or "buzzard" and then the USians started using it everywhere; for example, in "Donutz", which in proper English is spelled "Doughnuts".
- I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
I was wondering when someone would mention that error. You are correct, that was a typing error.
I agree with everything you said about editors; as well proof reading your own work. We often read what we thought we wrote; missing the fact that what we actually wrote was not what we thought.
It reminds me of the stuttering problem I use to have, and occasionally still have. It is like a short circuit; my mouth is trying to speak the first word and my brain is already on the fifth word. When writing, we sometimes, unintentionally, fail to type a word (or letter) because we are already passed the point in our own heads.
"Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence." - Edsger Dijkstra
"I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks. " - Daniel Boone
What I think is happening here is that everyone thinks the next person is going to fix it, but that person thinks the same.
I used the above concept - and this was decades ago - in order to get the following phrase through and into (comparatively internal) publication:
"This will necessitate the application of judicious empiricism." which was just another way of saying "Take an educated guess".
Another one I did, for publication in refereed literature, was to put in deliberate mistakes like "the the" so that the upper echelons had something to correct and not attempt to put their ill-equipped minds to commenting on the technical content about which they were basically clueless. This gave them an opportunity to "spray their territory". When I got it back, except for fixing deliberate typos, I ignored their nonsense and submitted it intact - let real scientist vet the content.
This was in the middle 80's through early 90's. So not much has really changed in how these things are done.
I think that's a good thing.
Swearing can be a good thing, depending on the goal, tone and audience of the article.
Like what if your article was a rant against bugs in Visual Studio?
"Unfortunately, Visual Studio crashed again."
Or: "And then that f***ing piece of crap Visual Studio crashed AGAIN!" [Insert y u do dis meme here]
Which of the two better conveys my utter frustration and anger with Visual Studio?
The second one can also be used to keep the reader's attention, especially if the rest of the article is "decent".
It's more a form of style than anything.
It's pretty modern though.
Old skool readers may stop right there and return to their physical newspaper, but that probably isn't your audience if you write like that.
I agree with you completely. I've been a grammar and spelling nerd since birth pretty much. (My English teacher used to have me stand at front of class and would say "Tell them about apostrophes" or something, and disappear for a fag for 20 minutes).
Partly, yes of course it's technology. TXT speak, predictive text and all the rest encourages laziness and re-inforces incorrect usage. Partly, of course, languages evolve and I have no real problem with the introduction of new words and the partial loss of others. What winds me up, though, is the use of words that are simply wrong and either give an incorrect message or an ambiguous one. I cannot understand how people routinely make statements that make no sense whatsoever - nor can I understand how people manage to correctly interpret it a lot of the time!
One thing I've noticed is that people, now in their 60s, who used to speak correctly are now adopting the ridiculous use of "of" when they mean "have": "I could of broken lockdown". It makes no sense, it doesn't save any time, and I can't see how or why it arose. Maybe people have either damaged their hearing so much, or are just so lazy when listening to others, that they've mis-heard "could've" as "could of" and assumed that "of" has another meaning. When this started, I assumed it was just a pronunciation issue, but of course it rapidly spread into writing as well.
Now we're bombarded online and on TV with ads for "Grammarly" - based on the supposition that grammar and spelling are "hard" and take so much effort that you need software to do it for you. However if people just applied some thought to the language they used, plus maybe learned a few simple rules, it should come pretty naturally.
Misuse of language particularly irks me when used by the media (especially the BBC) - these are professional communicators, and part of their role (in my opinion) is not only to communicate effectively and accurately, but to act as a role model in communication. (I also get annoyed by full-time professional drivers, e.g. cabbies and lorry drivers, who make the most basic and annoying errors - such as middle-lane hogging and failing to indicate).
Perhaps the root cause is the speed with which society moves these days; when replying to a letter, a response wasn't expected for a couple of days (remember when the postman called several times a day?) but with text and WhatsApp there is an expectation of instant reply to everything. We arguably write more than we ever have done, but have less time to do it, hardly ever review what we write before pressing "send" (why don't people do that??) and, perhaps significantly, never criticise each other (in the "critical evaluation" sense) for fear of causing offence. At school, written work is marked less rigorously than it used to be, and often by teachers who sadly don't have the grammar skills anyway.
Then there's the straightforward "elimination" of words from our language. This starts at school, with (for example) the following words removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary (in 2007, though it took a while for adults to notice):
Now, I can appreciate some words may have fallen into disuse; but from where I'm sitting now, I can see beech, bluebell, buttercup, cowslip, dandelion, fern, heather, ivy. It's likely that on my lockdown walk today I'll see ash, catkin, cygnet, hazel, heron, mistletoe, and willow. If I'm lucky I'll see adder, kingfisher, lark and newt. If I went out later in the year I'd be certain of seeing acorn and conker. So, if I were walking with my granddaughter, and she is supposed not to "need" these words, what do I do? Say "Oh look, there's a flower, a tree, a bird" when she could have a far enriched experience by understanding what flower, or tree, or bird, she's looking at. If "ash" is removed, how can she understand the rhyme "Oak before ash, we'll just get a splash; ash before oak, we're in for a soak" which, in my experience, is a better long-term forecast than anything the Met. Office can produce. "Cauliflower" has also gone, so heaven help her when she needs to order one online. Though, there's always a picture I suppose. (Perhaps this is also part of the problem; display technology and networking speeds have both increased so far that we no longer need a word for things, we can just show a picture. Maybe that's also partly driven by multi-culturalism too).
Anyhow, rest assured John that you're not the only one who despairs at what is happening. We can only hope that "old fogey" has also been deleted from the word-book.
I don't know a lot of those words, but dandelion, fern and heron should be common enough
Also, isn't mistletoe a thing during Christmas?
There's this song about it...
Ron Weasley gets his father's car wrecked by a willow (the Weeping Willow) and doesn't the Headless Horseman come from the roots of a willow?
Nectar is only one of the most important things in life!
Without nectar we'd have no bees and other insects and without them we'd have no life on earth!
I think nectar was one of those words that was in my biology book when I was six or seven.
I know ash only as ash from a fire, not a tree, I assume that meaning is still in the dictionary?
I recently delivered some acorns from some nymphs to the leaders of their tribe so she could replant them and set the nymphs free
Outside of that game I've never seen the word though
Buttercup is a Powerpuff Girl and I think also one of the Totally Spies girls.
Cauliflower is just a vegetable that people here eat on regular basis
It's weird that I can think of plenty of uses for some of these words and I'm not even English, yet the English don't think it's necessary to learn these words?
That said, people in the Netherlands are really bad with sayings, or expressions.
Like, it's raining cats and dogs.
My parents and grandparents know a lot more than me and I know a lot more than a lot of people from my generation.
In fact, just last week I asked a friend who is an English teacher "what's English for [some expression in Dutch]" and she didn't even know the expression
On the other hand, we now have "doekoe" and "patta's", which is street language for "money" and "shoes", borrowed from Turkish or Moroccan or some such
You'll rarely hear anyone older than 25 use those words though and most don't even know them.
As I read through your list of things you see out of your window, I received the impression that you are in southeast Texas. When we travel to Corpus Christi, we see almost all of those items.
Referring to the list of words eliminated from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, it appears to me that the authors are removing the words needed to describe an outdoor experience. I believe they are pandering to the urban and dense suburban families with limited opportunities for outdoor exploration. Too many modern children have the idea that being outdoors means visiting the local vest-pocket park for some highly supervised "outdoor play."
This has the very unfortunate side-effect of denigrating the importance of:
National and state parks, national forests, and other wild spaces
Unstructured play and exploration for children
Outdoor play for children
The interconnection of ecological spheres — i.e.: how does one animal or one plant fit into the local ecology? Or, how can you preserve one animal without preserving the animals and plants it depends upon and whom depend upon it? More fundamentally, why should we preserve wild spaces and wild animals?
The self-confidence gained from unexpected and novel interactions the world around us.
The ability to describe and categorize our experiences beyond "where the sidewalk ends." (George Strait song: Where the Sidewalk Ends)
This is just a continuing effort to indoctrinate "Manifest Destiny" concepts into our children. If we cannot accurately describe something, we are very limited in our ability to share and to appreciate it. Thus, we are teaching – by omission – our children to fear it. As humans, we have a long track record of trying to destroy what we fear or what we do not understand.
Well, I'm in Southeast England, basically on the northern outskirts of London, but you've made Texas seem a lot more inviting to me than it did before!
I know I'm in something of a minority, (my wife's a beekeeper, I'm an amateur entomologist, my daughter's an ecologist) but even growing up in the UK's second largest city, I remember being able to identify different trees, birds and flowers from a very young age. At least all the ones on that list, but am still learning constantly. However, more and more often I get just blank looks when I talk with people (young and older) about identifying a particular species. Seems people have only so much mental capacity and these days that is occupied by footballers, musicians, films and "box-sets" (the box has been missing from box-sets since the demise of DVDs).
You're right about the shift in emphasis. The OJD removed those words in 2009, yet it wasn't widely commented on until 2015, and in 2017 a petition was raised to get them reinstated. (They haven't been yet). They were replaced with words such as analogue, broadband, cut-and-paste. (This in a dictionary aimed at seven year olds). The issue about kids spending far more time indoors and in ignorance of the natural world was a key observation regarding the changes and is discussed here[^] among many other places.
A couple of years ago the OJD removed
aisle, bishop, chapel, empire, and monarch
as well. Goodness knows how kids now play chess, play video games, or navigate around a supermarket if they're not expected to know these words. Yet here am I, using emoticons in a post that's essentially about my distress at the loss of richness in our language. Today is #BioDiversity day. Maybe we need to start a world #LexiDiversity day...
I have always struggled with words and grammar. I can write a word a hundred times a day and then, one day, I can't even remember how to spell it.
It always amazes me when I reread a paper I wrote in the past and discover how good it really was. I use to write a lot of papers, because I knew that I would not be at the level of knowledge on the subject again and will have to look it up, again.
You know your getting old, when you realize that all those old fogeys were telling you the truth about forgetting more than you know. That is, you have reach a point in your life were you know you knew it but can't quite remember what you knew. I discovered, some time ago, that if you just start typing on a given subject, then you can surprise yourself with what you remember.
"Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence." - Edsger Dijkstra
"I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks. " - Daniel Boone
Nothing really, it is just evolving over the course of time, 100% logical and inevitable. Whatever is attempted to retain how it is totally pointless as the juggernaut of change will crush anything in its path.
I don't think some things are evolution (like, specifically, "could of"). Evolution is a refinement, a honing, of something. The use of "could of" is an illogical regression in that it unnecessarily creates a new meaning for the word "of" that has no logical etymology other than "sounding a bit like" a contraction of another word. It breaks well-established rules about grammar, tense, verb forms and contractions. It makes the sense of a sentence harder, not easier, to understand. It's just foul and those who use it should be summarily put out of their misery. Not that I've got strong feelings about it of course.
Misuse of words? That was part of an early "political correctness" effort which, even at the time, I knew would come to no good end.
It was referred to as Ebonics [^] (or Eubonics) - as a way to accept and excuse badly spoken English by some minority groups. Supposedly their culture. Note that the example may not be safe for all workplaces.
The real point is that misuse of an corruption of the spoken language were immediately transformed into a cultural right. Well - yes - you can speak any way you wish. Just don't expect everyone else to say that it's just fine.
Now, ignorance is quite acceptable, even coveted. People make fun of nerds and geeks. Probably so that they don't have to accept their own wasted existence. (hows that for extremism ! ? !)
I say it started with spellcheckers. People figured it's now its job to correct them. This is how people devolve.
But then, Twitter happened, and the quest for instant news meant editors (and related researchers and fact-checkers) were out of a job.
I get scoffed at when I say I hate using a device with an on-screen keyboard because they're so much more tedious to use than a real one, but then these same people go out of their way to use all sorts of shortcuts because spelling out words in full is...so much more tedious than on a real keyboard.
You're sounding a bit like your semi-name-sake, George Bernard Shaw, per Pygmalion.
John R. Shaw wrote:
echnically; I do not speak English, I speak American,
When I read this, I was certain of some hidden genetic connection.
However - it's quite true that the ignoramus' are getting the upper hand. The implication is that, with the passage of time (and I do not mean much time) their versioning will become the correct version.
As I often do, I'll blame the Dumb Phone generation for hurrying this all along. An awful lot of posters think that the abbreviations in text-messages are, in fact, correct (or are too lazy to give a damn). You can see a bunch of it in Q&A - and for that matter, the primary clergyman in my house of worship, a man who's mastered multiple languages, uses these atrocities in his emails. "U no what I mean".
On TV they have their idiocy at two levels. One is improper English or even use of the wrong word. This is exacerbated by the fact that they now rely upon talking heads for (by way of example) the news broadcasts. Once upon a time they actually hired people with a grasp on what's going on. Now they'll sit a pair together - who always watch one another speak - and mutually admire one another when found to be ignorant or incapable of some grade-school level computations/contemplation.
The misrepresentation of science? That would really get me started.
The language will evolve - that's for certain. Alas, we have allocated the control and direction to those least capable of administering the changes.
Most likely, this is business as usual for our species.