Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bad writing sample of the day

These gems mean job security for me!! These are from some award applications I have been editing. Think they'd win any awards this way?
"A major design and construction challenge to completion of the facilities was the volume of projects required to be concurrently designed not only due to fiscal year funding impacts but the need to have projects completed so as to not lose construction seasons due to severe winter weather conditions."

This is how I changed it:
"The team designed a high volume of projects concurrently to meet fiscal year requirements and proceed before severe winter weather." 

Sometimes my brain hurts!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Don't forget that all-important "L"!!!

Working at an environmental consulting firm with lots of PUBLIC clients, I've seen a lot of similar typos.

This is pretty bad. The University of Texas (unlimited possibilities--haha!) printed this egregious typo in its commencement program: "The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Pubic Affairs."

As I work in the group responsible for editing the firm's documents, I would hope that we catch as many of these typos as possible. More often than not, though, they get caught just in the nick of time, since nearly everything is done on a quick timeframe and tight budget.

Another frequent typo with our pubic clients is inadvertently forgetting the "O" in "County."

Reason #123 why everyone needs an editor with eagle eyes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Man catches death-eating bacteria from internet

No, this is not the title on the National's right out of a Yahoo news article.

"Sean Helgesen says he got lucky in his battle four years ago with the bacteria in a Daily Beast article."

This proves:

1. You should reread everything you write. (I have to confess that sometimes I do not take the time to do this myself, but I can't imagine I'd ever write something as bad as that statement above!)

2. Everyone--even the best writer--needs a proofreader. You should always have someone else read what you have written if millions of people will be reading it.
3. Sometimes people are so quick to post that they do not QC before they do so.

4. An article about a deadly disease can be far less effective with an awkwardly worded, clunky sentence in the middle of it.

Whatever you think about Tina Brown, she's not passing out death-eating bacteria.