Re: Midol Moment...(Halo Effect)

Subject: Re: Midol Moment...(Halo Effect)
From: Ginna Dowler <gdowler -at- questertangent -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 09:56:27 -0800

Tim Altom wrote:

> There is also a halo effect at work. A non-standard spelling, usage, or
> grammar leads the reader to assume that other problems exist, too, such as
> product glitches and manual mistakes. Getting the major spelling issues
> resolved is so simple and foundational that if any company isn't taking time
> to do such easy things, how reliable can we take them to be in ferreting out
> harder problems?

An abundance of spelling errors usually signify that no copy editor
looked it over, which usually leads me to doubt the text. The Globe and
Mail ("Canada's National Newspaper") cleary slashed their copy editorial
staff and never hired them back. The front page stories are usually
fine. Now, I can stomach a few spelling errors over my toast, but copy
editors typically catch other mistakes as well. I've seen too many
graphs where the numbers don't add up, too many stats which simply don't
make sense to anyone with skills in simple arithmetic. (There was the
gem in a story about forestry - "75 hectares or one-tenth of British
Columbia". Um, no.) The simple truth is that once I notice spelling and
grammar errors, I'm on the lookout for other errors as well. And then I
don't trust anything I read in that book.

Ginna Dowler
Quester Tangent Corporation
Sidney, BC
gdowler -at- questertangent -dot- com

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