Paying for Typos

Subject: Paying for Typos
From: Documania <dcma -at- MAIL1 -dot- NAI -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 09:37:33 -0500

I had planned to leave the typo subject alone after our long and vigorous
debate, but it just thrust itself at me again from a new direction.

At a local newsstand with a diverse magazine selection, I happened upon a
premiere issue of _Editor & Writer_, "The Journal for Professional Feature
Editors & Writers," incorporating _Writing for Money_ and _Assignments_.
Intrigued, I picked it up.

Within the first 18 pages of a 64-page journal, I encountered no fewer than
three typos and a whole bunch of widow lines -- all true typographic errors
vs. spelling and grammar hiccups. (For example: an inverted apostrophe in a
contraction; a close quote sitting by itself on a line--located,
ironically, in a paragraph headed, "Partial quotes.")

These are the types of things that people pay me to find and fix, yet here
in a professional journal about commercial writing and editing I'm being
asked to pay $6.95 an issue for the most bush-league desktop publishing
I've seen outside amateur newsletters for little nonprofit clubs. The
introductory material, market info section, and one article I have read so
far are all excellent in terms of writing clarity, style, and content; but
I'm so IRRITATED by the typos that I'm reluctant to read any further. On
first browse I had considered springing for a subscription; now I'm
questioning the magazine's worth.

The real question is, Where do you draw the line?

Shouldn't a "journal through which top practitioners -- editors, writers
and educators -- help their colleagues master their craft" be a bit
better-produced for $6.95 an issue? I've paid a lot less than that for
top-end periodicals. Isn't an editor responsible for the typographic
quality of his/her publication?

Am I too unrealistic and demanding to expect this? Please contribute
opinions. I am quite riled up and find the viewpoints this list offers to
be helpful in sorting out my thoughts and attitudes. I will be
cross-posting this to the Copyediting list for the same purpose.

Carolyn Haley
DocuMania
dcma -at- ct1 -dot- nai -dot- net

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