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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Wednesday May 19, 2004
07:53 PM

You Live Only Once

[ #18840 ]
Dear Log,

I hate proofreaders. They screwed up my LWP book; then when I was doing my RTF book I said "now don't you screw this one up!" and specified exactly how they should NOT screw it up; and they took that as a dare, and did exactly what I said not to do.

If (when) I am appointed kommissar of the North American Sektor of Earth, I will make vaccination against horrible diseases free and compulsory for everyone, except proofreaders; the proofreaders will actually be given the horrible diseases that everyone else has the vaccinations against. I'm even thinking of bringing back smallpox just for them.

Pour encourager les autres.

Pullum explains:

«Ian Fleming's title You Only Live Twice was not copy-edited to You Live Only Twice. Why not? Because he knows how to write, and he didn't let an idiot copy-editor change his writing into mush, that's why.»

--"More timewasting garbage, another copy-editing moron"

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  • Jeez, at least tell us what was done. I'm on the edge of my seat.
    • Lots of turning things like
      or if $x holds a three-character string like "foo".
      or if $x holds a three-character string like "foo."

      I had to spend forever making them put every single one back the way it was before they "fixed it".

      • I don't know /why/, but I remain surprised every time I hear of a technical publishing house with copyreaders who don't understand the technical requirements for good technical books and stylistic requirements for great technical books...
        • I think someone must have cousins who are English majors who can't write, but who want to stop working at the combined CD and stationery store.

          I want to put them out of my misery.

      • I hope they have a special place in hell for proofreaders who do that. There are perfectly sensible people who insist on the perpetration of this horror, it should be in the Geneva Convention, or something.
      • Yep, that correction is clearly not. Your editor should wield a Big Stick of Y'Know, That Changes The Meaning Something Terrible +2. I have one right beside my desk.