Re: Too Many Errors! (long rant)

Subject: Re: Too Many Errors! (long rant)
From: Glenda Jeffrey <jeffrey -at- HKS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 12:10:19 GMT

Michael Collier (mci -at- lubrizol -dot- com) wrote:
: I recently purchased a book on SGML that shall go unnamed. A cursory
: thumb-through revealed a poorly placed graphic, sentences without periods at
: the end, and typos a spell checker could easily catch.

: The book was handsomely printed and bound in Germany, on acid-free paper. It
: cost $50.

I know the precise book you are talking about because I just bought
it and had the same reaction.

: My question to you is what is it about modern electronic publishing methods
: that proliferate these kinds of errors?

I've found the same kinds of problems in one other (expensive) SGML
book -- but I also have two other SGML books (one cheap, the other
extremely expensive) that were obviously proofread very carefully. I
don't think the problem is electronic publishing -- I think it's just
that the people who worked on that particular book were not very

: With oversights such as those, how can I be sure that, for example, in the
: sample DTD included, there are no misplaced exclamation points, pipes, end
: brackets or hyphens? Or that such errors do not occur in examples elsewhere
: in the book?

I had the same reaction. And in fact, I have found mistakes in one or
two examples! I truly believe that poor proofreading has a significant
effect on the reader's impression of the book. It's like coming to
an interview with your tie or blouse on backward.
Glenda Jeffrey Email: jeffrey -at- hks -dot- com
Hibbitt, Karlsson & Sorensen, Inc Phone: 401-727-4200
1080 Main St. Fax: 401-727-4208
Pawtucket, RI 02860

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