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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Death of Editors

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I continue to be amazed at how bad editing is getting in tomes that I peruse.

One book I am currently reading includes, among other errors, a map of the Russian Front which includes "EAST RUSSIA." As this part of Russia is north of Poland, it is pretty clear to most that it is missing a "P."

This book, and its sister tome, both frequently discuss tactical operations with maps for reference. Except that they frequently talk about maneuvers around particular villages, or hills, which are not on the maps, so they are worthless in following the action.

Another book I am reading compares to armored vehicles and calls on the reader to accept the author's conclusion based on one historical contest between the two vehicles. Problem is that the historical contest played entirely to the strengths of one of the two vehicles and minimized its weaknesses.

I find sentences that are missing one word, which completely changes the meaning. You can see the error because all of the rest of the paragraph leading up to that sentence has been leading you the other way. (Caveat, the last blog I posted was originally missing the word "not" in the second to the last sentence, which also changed the meaning, but we did go in and edit it to correct that.)

Books I read have more and more misspellings, in some cases paragraphs that end without ending (there is no final punctuation mark, the text simply stops and a new paragraph starts), among other foibles.

I have commented on this editing thing before. I mentioned a book that was the last in a series where an important meeting is held to discuss strategy, and one of the attendees is not only the nominal leader of the bad guys (I did go back and check and compare the names), but was already dead at the time of the meeting (had been dead for about a week).

I used to enjoy reading, but more and more it gives me a headache.