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The View From Moot Point

A site about language and misconception

Annals of Illiteracy

February 15th, 2011 by Laura Cereta

The predicament

I’ve been finding more and more mistakes lately. Not just big, cataclysmic ones—the mistakes that irrevocably alter people’s lives—about wars and educational policy and whom to elect mayor and what kinds of debt and financial hardship the government ought to be lenient with. Those are mistakes of earth-shattering importance. The mistakes I find myself obsessing about mostly center around the printed word. They’re examples of bad editing and proofreading and copy editing, errors of usage, both written and spoken, and they’re of no importance at all. That’s probably why they obsess me. They’re less daunting and depressing than the grand-scale

threatening, in a way, than the , really.  mistakes, should be lenient with eople make–about wars and ones, like Increasingly, we find ourselves astounded at the inability of American book, newspaper, and magazine publishing to keep from sounding like the

Errors of usage

New York Post, Friday, August 20, 2010: “Media Ink” column, p. 40

“Unfortunately for the News, the announcement later that same day that the job was going to another actor rendered its headline
moot.”

Bad copyediting

Mostly Mozart Festival Playbill for August 20, 2010: “Notes on the Program”

“The C-major Concerto followed quickly on the heels of the composer’s Piano Concerto in D minor, K.466. The contrast between these two pieces could hardly be more extreme. The story D-minor Concerto is one of Mozart’s most desperate outbursts, a cry of pathos and struggle, while its successor is relaxed and confident. These concertos thus form a complimentary set—one dark and turbulent, the other bright and joyous.”

© 2011, Laura Cereta. All rights reserved.

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