Everyone Needs an Editor: No Expeirence Nessecary

I found this little gem while cleaning out one of my desk drawers yesterday afternoon:

Beyond the editorial WTFery, what kind of “Jobs Jobs Jobs” is this flyer advertising? Because, honestly? I’m getting a serious NO feeling from the whole thing. I’m thinking human trafficking of some kind. Either that or you’re about to sign on to become a drug mule. Hope you like swallowing cocaine-filled condoms and following them up later with a laxative chaser…

Everyone Needs an Editor: Dalmations

Um, hey, guys? Guys? You’re Disney, right? The Disney, as in Disney who made the cartoon 101 Dalmatians? Shouldn’t you, of all companies, know how to spell Dalmatian?

In case you’re keeping track, this would be another pet peeve misspelling of mine, probably because 101 Dalmatians is one of my favorite Disney cartoons. How do you not love spotty puppies? Or Cruella De Vil, one of the least subtly named villains ever conceived?

Everyone Needs an Editor: Cemetary

There are certain editorial errors that are like kryptonite to a word nerd. Every word nerd has something that affects them in a particularly nerve-scraping way, but, rest assured, denizens, we all have those niggling little pet peeves that simply drive us crazy.

Me? I have a few, but one of my definitive “wailing and gnashing of teeth” moments is this:

It’s probably because I am quite a morbid wolf, but I loathe seeing the word “cemetery” misspelled. There’s an episode of Scooby Doo that has it spelled this way, and I can promise you, it has always driven me a wee bit batty.

In other news, yes, I have returned. I’m appalled that April passed so quickly and left me with the lowest entry count I’ve ever had here at the lair (minus the first month of my revampitude). I can’t promise that I’ll be making daily entries…but I promise to strive to beat last month’s record. And look! I’m already halfway there! 😉

Everyone Needs an Editor: Allen

Little known Poe fact: In addition to being the master of the macabre, the father of the modern detective novel, and one of my all-time favorite writers, he was also apparently the inventor of the Allen wrench:

I kid, of course. And yet my jaw still aches a little bit from the irritated teeth grinding to which I succumbed as I stared at this placard. I found it while strolling about the D.C. National Portrait Gallery this past weekend. Strangely enough, I’d never been to this particular Smithsonian museum. It’s quite beautiful and filled with an eclectic array of paintings, photographs, and sculptures that could easily consume the better part of a day if you’re so inclined to indulge in a serene saunter through the museum’s many halls.

Leave it to me to find the one editorial error that would be the fly backstroking along in my otherwise lovely soup. Beyond my own personal reasons for cringing whenever I see Edgar Allan Poe’s name misspelled in this way, I can’t help but feel an even greater level of offense for the one-two-three punch of it being misspelled in this particular location:

  1. Let’s start with the fact that this placard is hanging in a museum located in the heart of Poe country. Although he never called Washington, D.C., itself home, he lived and died in the confines of a circuitous path that ranged from Richmond to New York City, with frequent stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore, which became his final resting place. For all intents and purposes, Poe is a local literary hero. For that reason alone, we should know how to spell his name properly.
  2. His name is misspelled on a placard describing a photograph of Stephen King, the writer who is arguably the modern-day heir to Poe’s macabre legacy. It would be like placing a placard next to a portrait of Poe and referring to “Steven King.”
  3. Last, but certainly not least, this is a placard located in a museum. Maybe it’s just me, but I kind of expect a greater level of quality control involving materials associated with museums. After all, the very etymology of the word “museum” denotes a building dedicated to the “Muses” of study and art—in all its forms. Other than a library or a bookstore, what one place above all others should be held to the expectation of spelling Poe’s name properly?

So, there you have it: I’m still here and I’m still surly as ever, especially when it comes to editorial mistakes. Rather than leave on a sour note, however, I leave you with this delightful painting of another Favorite Son of Baltimore. I just wish there was at least one pink flamingo somewhere in the background…

Everyone Needs an Editor: Sidel

This floors me for several reasons:

  • This is a professionally prepared one-sheet for a high-profile television series.
  • As such, this had to have gone through several rounds of review from several different people. Hell, I’m a design peon in comparison with someone who works for CBS and everything I do goes through at least four levels of review!
  • There are several far more difficult-to-spell names on this one-sheet, and they are all spelled correctly (Helgenberger, Szmanda, Guilfoyle, even Jorja!).
  • The character of Sara Sidle has existed for 12 years now. You’d think that would be enough time for the spelling of the character’s name to soak in, right (especially considering the fact that almost every episode, she can be seen wearing a vest with her surname stitched in white CAPITAL LETTERS)?

This isn’t the first time I’ve dinged CBS and its affiliates for poorly edited CSI materials. And, to be honest, this is nothing in comparison with that book and all its editorial SNAFUs. Still…

I know, I’m just being nitpicky because this happens to be my favorite character, but I’m also nitpicky because, dammit, take some pride in what you do, people! Especially when millions of people are going to be seeing it. My stuff is only seen by a fraction of the people who see stuff related to CSI and I’d be mortified if a mistake this glaring went out on something I’d done. Hell, I even go back and edit posts if I catch a mistake later on. Yes, it’s that bad, denizens. It’s that bad.

And yet another tip of the paw to Jorja Fox: Online for giving me something to howl about on a shiny, happy Monday morning.

Everyone Needs an Editor: Georgetown Univeristy

This is just embarrassing. Georgetown University is supposedly one of the top universities in the D.C. area. It’s a highly respected institution.

More importantly, it’s an institution of higher education. As such, they are rightfully held to higher standards when it comes to things like…oh, I don’t know…spelling their own name correctly?

I know, I know: It’s just a case of simple transposition. Still, how are we to take this school seriously when they can’t even get something as straight-forward as a copy editing assignment correct? Especially on something as high profile as the cover of their commencement program!

Thanks to DCist.com for making my morning with this find.

Everyone Needs an Editor: Capital Hill

This is a common enough mistake everywhere, I’m sure, but it’s particularly jarring in this context. For the record, whenever referring to the building where capital-level legislating takes place, it’s always “capitol” with an “O.” This is true whether it’s a national or state-level capitol (although it’s capitalized when referring to the nation’s Capitol).

The city wherein these capitol buildings reside and these capital ideas transpire is the “capital” with an “A.”

Confused? Don’t be. Just remember that the building is the capitol. The city is the capital.

Why is this matchbox even more jarring for its grammatical faux pas? It’s a D.C.-based restaurant advertising one of its locations near Capitol Hill. Seriously, of all the places where you kinda sorta want to make sure you get this right, Capitol Hill is definitely at the top of the list. We’re called wonks for a reason…