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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:31 am

I mostly blame spellcheck (combined with laziness) for the current wave of bad grammar and improper word usage. People assume if they didn't see any red squiggly lines they're good.

One of the more humorous occurrences of bad spelling I encountered was many years ago (before the days of ubiquitous spellcheck), soon after I got out of college. The place where I was working had recently printed up a whole bunch of new marketing and promotional materials (flyers, brochures, etc.). I just happened to be flipping through one of the brochures, and noticed that the marketing copy misspelled the word "communities" as "communitities". You should've seen the marketing director's face when I pointed that typo out... priceless.

They had done a pretty big printing run of the brochures too... color printing on glossy stock... so it ended up costing them some serious $.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:48 am

slowriot wrote:
The online publishing business model has somewhat of a fundamental pull to eliminate pesky things like editors. Media companies are better off in terms of the bottom-line by focusing on quantity and controversy versus quality and nuance. Basically... trying to support everything with ad views and clicks means you have to get more pages out and in a shorter amount of time.

Plus a site like "Droid Life" really has no pretense of high quality journalism in the first place. I really wonder just how much revenue that site generates. Heck, I'd be curious as to what percentage of their viewers are blocking the revenue streams in the first place. I bet its, to most, shockingly high.

Now a company like Gawker Media who does all of these things plus much, much worse... now that really bothers me.
I've heard this happens in E-Books. Some of them are generated with OCR and they don't bother to fix the mistakes by editing them after the scanning and OCR. Oops, should have read down a bit further...
esc_in_ks wrote:
What about Kindle books?

I find the formatting to often be horrible. I've run across books which were clearly converted to Kindle format using OCR and no one bothered to check over the results with even so much as a spell checker. There's a feature in the Kindle application to report errors, but it appears to go somewhere that's never actually read. I've stopped bothering to report errors and have followed that up with rarely buying Kindle titles any more.

I think poor editing is just part of the new Digital Culture. Enjoy!
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:57 am

TwoEars wrote:
I am not so much bothered by the gramma as by the fact that what once were professional news sites now seem to be written by angst-ridden 20-years olds. These are news outlets which once prided themselves on remaining neutral and objective, but which now have no problem letting the personal biases and opinions of their reporters shine through in subtile (or less subtile) ways.

I wonder how many old-school investigate fact-driven objective actual journalists there are left in the world, those who solider on have my deepest respect but they seem to be going the way of the dinosaurs. I fear oligarchy and nepotism is what follows next, even more so than now.

"internet killed the journalist" - maybe not so catchy but it might come true, if it hasen't already.
Growing up back in the 60's and 70's, one of the things about British journalists in particular and TV anchors in general, was their stiff upper lip, no matter what material they were reading to the TV camera.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:08 am

BIF wrote:
My pet peeves, but I hear some of these in spoken language as well as the written word, so I wonder if the whole language is just going through a complete "slangolution". Many of these appear in written (sans editor) articles, but they also show up the world over in blog posts, article replies, and forum posts. A lot of people don't speak English as a first language, so I try to be understanding.

But since we're griping (not "gripping"):

  1. any leet or "slanguage" misspelling, such as h8r, Xmas, or "murica" (even in mock, even in jest). I'm fine with these in text messages, but not in written prose.
I disagree about Xmas. That shortening has been around even before my 60yr old childhood. It probably came out of the Christian community because Christ in the Greek starts with a Chi (e.g. X). Ah, I just Googled "Chi Christ"; Wikipedia article suggests its use dates back to the 16th century.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:47 am

oomjcv wrote:
I suppose for most people that's OK, language is only a means of communication after all, not some flawlewss science. Makes me wonder how language will develop in the coming decades, perhaps we have made it too much of an 'art'?

I'm going to put on my Terrible Pedant hat here, but I have to argue against this kind of thinking (also, I want to believe that you deliberately misspelled "flawless" just to humorously tweak us here). I am a technical translator, and absolute specificity is absolutely necessary for so much of what I write. In many cases, it might make the difference between life and death for a user or patient down the line. Accurate communication in such circumstances cannot be half-assed. I have encountered people in my field who want to work as such, or who dismiss it by stating that "Someone down the line will know what it's supposed to mean." It doesn't work like that - what is written is what people will read, and not everyone is going to have the context to spot an error that might be significant.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:08 pm

Accurate communication in such circumstances cannot be half-assed.
My advisor worked hard to cure me of predicating any sentence with the word "basically". I'm a geologist and he would rant that "basic" is a a mafic igneous rock category and not proper for use in geological conversation or writing; unless used intentionally to indicate a composition. I may have misused "predicating" but I think not.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:14 pm

I guess I'm missing the part where offline journalism has effective editors.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:21 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
I guess I'm missing the part where offline journalism has effective editors.

Online is worse.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:27 pm

Part of the problem IMO is a kind of feedback loop: The more people have to read through improperly spelled material, the more likely their brains are to invisibly fix the mistakes and not notice them, which makes it less likely to be caught by simple once-overs by the author's peers or editors.

For instance, reading this thread I had to go over a few of the quotes a couple of times before noticing some of the typos simply because at first glance, they go unnoticed.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:30 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I mostly blame spellcheck (combined with laziness) for the current wave of bad grammar and improper word usage. People assume if they didn't see any red squiggly lines they're good.

I don't think it's actually bad grammar. I think that nothing is proofread (which, admittedly, could just be laziness).

It turns out that English has a ton of homophones and heterophones, words that would pass a spell-check but not casual reading.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:35 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
I mostly blame spellcheck (combined with laziness) for the current wave of bad grammar and improper word usage. People assume if they didn't see any red squiggly lines they're good.

I don't think it's actually bad grammar. I think that nothing is proofread (which, admittedly, could just be laziness).

Unfortunately, I run into this quite a lot. At worst, the author didn't even bother to spell-check, so glaring errors are present. But very often, an automatic spell-check is all that was performed, the document was never read through again before being sent off, and it's littered with grammatical mistakes and homophones.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:18 pm

Yeah, I guess I was kind of lumping homophones in with grammatical errors, even though they aren't really the same thing.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:30 pm

Thread necro! Related to the fires which swept through here recently:

This crucial philanthropy aims to address urgent needs in the North Bay as a result of the devasting fires, such as temporary housing, fod, education and healthcare services, as well as rebuilding effots.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:43 pm

I enjoy good fod.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:47 pm

Wen you dont have good fod, the effets can be devasting.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:51 pm

alloyD wrote:
Wen you dont have good fod, the effets can be devasting.

Hence the importance of the ritual FOD walk on any airfield.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:41 am

Redocbew wrote:
Thread necro! Related to the fires which swept through here recently:

This crucial philanthropy aims to address urgent needs in the North Bay as a result of the devasting fires, such as temporary housing, fod, education and healthcare services, as well as rebuilding effots.

This made my brain hurt. :lol:
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:50 am

Captain Ned wrote:
alloyD wrote:
Wen you dont have good fod, the effets can be devasting.

Hence the importance of the ritual FOD walk on any airfield.

Reminds me of a story I heard recently (2nd hand, from a co-worker). Tech was installing a piece of equipment on an older legacy aircraft (C-130, IIRC). Dropped a screw, it rolled away and fell into a crevice somewhere. Was told "you need to find that before this thing will be allowed to fly". Pulled up the floorboards, and found several pounds of random lost hardware underneath. Tech delivered said several pounds of hardware to the person who said he had to find the screw.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:10 pm

That's a strange coincidence for a story to tell and for me to notice. Less than an hour ago, we had a testing device break and a bolt head went missing. I've quarantined the product that was made before the break down so it won't ship until someone finds the bolt head in one of the boxes that passed through the device.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:12 pm

Wow, that is one steaming pile of crap! Devasting even :lol:

What fine publication was that from?
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:15 pm

Welch wrote:
Wow, that is one steaming pile of crap! Devasting even :lol:

What fine publication was that from?

Not sure which post you're referring to here.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:45 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Welch wrote:
Wow, that is one steaming pile of crap! Devasting even :lol:

What fine publication was that from?

Not sure which post you're referring to here.

probably the one that used the word "devasting"
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:20 pm

JBI

"This crucial philanthropy aims to address urgent needs in the North Bay as a result of the devasting fires, such as temporary housing, fod, education and healthcare services, as well as rebuilding effots."

That one
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:38 pm

Oh, duh. Yeah, hadn't been reading the thread too carefully. I even responded to the "fod" part, but the whole "devasting" thing whizzed right past me.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:35 pm

Bad grammar and spelling is commonplace today so it's no surprise it slipped by you. :lol:
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:42 am

just brew it! wrote:
Oh, duh. Yeah, hadn't been reading the thread too carefully. I even responded to the "fod" part, but the whole "devasting" thing whizzed right past me.



Despite your best effots, you're bound to miss one or two. :D
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:00 am

just brew it! wrote:
I have been noticing an increasing tendency to use "break" instead of "brake", both in online discussions and news articles.

Latest example: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nhtsa-evalu ... -selector/

CNN wrote:
Most of the complaints allege the incidents happen when the vehicle was running, some when the vehicle was off, no reports indicate the parking break was engaged at the time of the rollaway.

Edit: That article is a twofer. Subbed "devises" for "devices" too.

CNN wrote:
The devises have become favored by automakers as they take up less space in the console of the car, leaving room for other features like larger cup holders or device chargers.


There is nothing that shatters your professional image more quickly than the inability to proffer coherent simple sentences. I am not holding people or expecting them to write beautiful prose like literary giants, but to at least have a solid dominion of language to help them execute their professional duties. I once had a supervisor that wrote "go to brake at 6pm." I could not hold it, and burst in laughter. Any respect that I had for that person was shattered, and quite honestly, it confirmed my notion that I was being managed by people that had an inferior level of professional education than I.

Please always take the time to proofread what you are writing. Always be mindful of three things: audience, purpose, and medium. Stuff that you write today will be read by future generations. Let us set a good example, and encourage them to stand on the shoulders of giants just like we are now standing and enjoying the fruits from the previous generation. Human knowledge is a cumulative endeavor. I can't help but think that for the first time we may actually regress as a society due to this entitled-attention-addled-instant-gratification-seeking millennial generation. I am not very optimistic for this generation's fruits of labor.

Also, does anyone care to write a thoughtful cover letter anymore? I take an almost pernicious obsession when I write my cover letters. I know that I will be judged not only by my grammatical mistakes, but by my judicious and straightforward prose to standout from the herd of mediocre contenders. You may say I am old-fashioned, but there are some good old-fashioned values & behaviors that deserve to be picked up by future generations because they have bore good fruits. We must inform our viewpoint of what values & behaviors we must discard, and others that we must retain and pass on. Writing & having a solid dominion of language, including reading comprehension, is one of those universal values & behaviors that we must encourage and never grow complacent.


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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:17 am

Same goes for Youtube, which is now a cesspool of:
99% - Low effort attention seeking gimmick of clickbait + facecam + loud + obnoxious fake accent
0.9% - Egotistical "look at my expensive toys" circlejerking types like Linus
0.1% - Real content.

I almost shed a tear when the prominent "personalites" in the first 2 categories whining about how YT sucks because they can't earn as much money as before.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:19 am

uni-mitation wrote:
Also, does anyone care to write a thoughtful cover letter anymore? I take an almost pernicious obsession when I write my cover letters. I know that I will be judged not only by my grammatical mistakes, but by my judicious and straightforward prose to standout from the herd of mediocre contenders.

Most professional hiring is done through online job sites and recruiting firms these days. Either you've got the right buzzwords in your profile (and HR passes your info along to the appropriate hiring manager) or you don't. Your cover letter probably never gets read.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:51 am

They may just use Google translate :D online newspaper or website should have an editor to check everything before publishing. I guess they're same as an amateur journalist.
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