Re: Has the Web advanced the written word?

Subject: Re: Has the Web advanced the written word?
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- SOUNDY -dot- ML -dot- ORG>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 09:10:39 -0800

On Fri, 25 Sep 1998 09:24:28 -0600, Ron Sering wrote:

>But when I go to one of the online news services to read
>a piece, I often find enough typos to send an editor out for a long
>smoke break. It is the immediacy of the medium that explains it; the
>language has gained spontaneity even as it has become less formal.

I don't think immediacy is entirely to blame... I think the bigger problem is
the laziness that it inspires. I see the same kinds of typos (that's
actually incorrect, since few of these errors are even marginally
typographical in nature) in print media (including major dailies and
newsmagazines) as well as in public advertising (bus signs, billboards, etc.)

Some of these latter types have been around for years! One that always
grates me that I see around the Vancouver area is for a store called "Three
Vet's" (I don't even remember offhand what they sell -- pet food, I think).
At least, that's how it's spelled on every sign and ad. I can only hope that
someone goofed on the incoporation papers -- I'd hate to think they've been
using an ad agency that's been using the same misspelling for years!

I think people have come to rely too much on their spellcheckers, grammar
checkers, and online thesauruses (which may give a perfectly reasonable
replacement word, but not necessarily the best one for the situation). These
tools' output is taken at face value, no second guessing. A simple
spellchecker won't catch the difference in usage of to/too/two or
their/there/they're. I've even come up with one that would stump most
grammar checkers - "They walked down the isle/aisle." - either form would
work depending on surrounding context.

>Well anyway: ruminations on a Friday. Net price: $.02

No pun intended?

Your friend and mine,
<All standard disclaimers apply>
"Reality is in alpha test on protoype hardware."

No more turning away / From the weak and the weary
No more turning away / From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It's not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there'll be no more turning away?
- Pink Floyd, "On The Turning Away"

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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