Re: peer edits

Subject: Re: peer edits
From: Gurudutt Kamath <guruk -at- GIASBM01 -dot- VSNL -dot- NET -dot- IN>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 14:32:43 -0600

Hello all!

Thought I would share an anecdote. M.V. Kamath (not related to me), a well
known columnist in India, taught me Journalism. In his Editing class, he
mentioned the importance of reading out text aloud to catch grammatical
errors. He said that in a University Press, typesetters were setting type
in Sanskrit, a highly scientific language with precise grammar. In those
days, they had to pick up each lead alphabet from the galley or board where
the types are placed in small rectangular holes. Kamath said that the
language was so rhythmic that typesetters, who did not know Sanskrit, would
catch grammar/spelling errors, when their rhythm was broken while setting
the type. If they found that the hand movement to pick up the alphabets was
wrong, they pointed such errors to the author; and sure enough the author
agreed that they were right. Apocryphal? But sure made a good point to me.
There is always a sixth sense to catching errors.

Reading out aloud is a good way to catch errors. Though in these fast
times, one can rely on Grammar/Spelling Checkers [choose or instead of /,
ho, ho] and peer reviews!

At 02:34 PM 10/24/97 -0400, you wrote:

Someone said:

>>Surely you jest! Read the book aloud...."perfect text"???
>>What planet are you from and who has this kind of time?

You replied:
>It does take a good bit of time, but in my experience reading aloud is a
>GREAT way of catching little things that slip through a
>silent reading. "That sounds awkward. . . gee, I already said that. . .
>that's the third time I've used that phrase".
>The absolute best method of proofreading I ever heard of was related to
>reading aloud. It took two people (we used students, mainly),
>one with the original copy, one with the proof copy, and consisted of
>reading every sentence of the original aloud with punctuation.


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