Tuesday, June 24, 2008

For crying out loud, doesn't ANYONE proofread anymore?

Last night, I was reading an article on the local newsradio station's website, and there was a sentence describing how firefighters extinguished "a small fire in it's early stages." If there's one thing that drives me up a wall, it's seeing people confuse its and it's, and here are professional writers making the error. ARRRRGH!

The next paragraph of that article said that police were on the site to check on the well-being of the resident of that location. The parents had called them out of concern for their son, "who they hadn't heard from in several days". I can't remember the precise rule here, but my gut instinct is that they should have used whom in that sentence. Therefore, I did the only thing I could do. I politely emailed them about the typoes. Some time later today, I'll go check if they've fixed the error(s).

Anyway, fast-forward to this morning, when I got the latest email from buy.com detailing what's currently on sale. Both the email AND the website describe a "Signing Elvis with microphone"

SIGNing Elvis? What the Sam Hill? Elvis wasn't a sign-language interpreter, as far as I know. I sorta-kinda think they meant SINGING Elvis, don't you?

It's bad enough to read online forums where people post opinions that are a grammatical train-wreck, but at least under those circumstances, the people aren't being PAID to write the content. I can deal with that. As the poster says, "Pobody's Nerfect".

However, it's a major pet peeve of mine that PROFESSIONALS, who are being PAID to enter mistake-free content for a website, make grammar or spelling errors. Take some darn time to READ what you've written, for goodness sakes! Relying on the spellcheck is useless in both of the above instances, because the errors that were made actually ARE valid words. They're just words that are not valid in the context in which they were used, and that's the kind of mistake that HUMAN eyes need to detect.

GRRRR. Why is proofreading such a lost art?

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