The Other I

March 12, 2012

Why I might need help

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 9:32 pm

I’ve just about finished the second edition of my book The Big Bang to Now.  Now I begin the tedious process of proofing and re-formatting.  I am not the best proof-reader in the world, as regular readers of these posts may have noticed, so this afternoon I searched the web to find out how much a professional edit would cost.

I haven’t decided yet what I am going to do, but I have decided who I am going to ask to do it if I decide to go for a professional.  The following is a copy of the page from First Writer .  Any outfit with editors with this kind of sense of humor would be a delight to work with.  I might even try to slip in a few deliberate double entendres just to maintain standards.

All too often nowadays, people think that passing a spell-checker over a piece of work is sufficient to prepare it for public consumption – hopefully the following unfortunate misprints will convince you otherwise! All the following quotes are genuine misprints taken from real publications – which, to save their embarrassment, will remain anonymous….

A computer spell checker wouldn’t see the problem with these, but anyone else would:

  • “For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.”
  • “And now, the Superstore – unequalled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivalled inconvenience.”
  • “WOMAN WANTED, to share Fat with another.”
  • “Get rid of aunts: Zap does the job in 24 hours.”
  • “Mr and Mrs Remington Taylor of Verona, formerly of Ithaca, were weakened guests of Mrs J. H. Barron of 145 Cascadilla Park.”
  • “Our experienced Mom will take care of your child. Fenced yard, meals, and smacks included.”

You might get the spelling right, as well as the grammar, but this doesn’t stop the sentence being total gibberish:

  • “Here is an opportunity to purchase a charming small house at a price which bears no relation to its cost.”
  • “The Cape Hatteras region, developed as America’s first national seashore park, was visited by 306,328 persons, three times the attendance for the previous year when no attendance figures were kept.”
  • “Illiterate? Write today for free help.”

Even if your sentence makes perfect sense, you might not realise exactly what you’re implying. It often takes a second pair of eyes to spot that you might not be saying exactly what you mean:

  • “A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms.”
  • “Dinner Special – Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00.”
  • “For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.”
  • “Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too.”
  • “Wanted: Unmarried girls to pick fresh fruit and produce at night.”
  • “We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.”
  • “Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.”
  • “Amazing luck in the Irish Sweep fell to a Kentish man who drew two tickets and a Sussex woman.”
  • “Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.”
  • “Vacation Special: have your home exterminated.”
  • “Sheer stockings. Designed for fancy dress, but so serviceable that lots of women wear nothing else.”
  • “Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!”
  • “Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.”
  • “Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you’ll never go anywhere again.”
  • “We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $1.00.”
  • “Free: farm kittens, ready to eat.”

1 Comment »

  1. 😆


    Comment by sanstorm — March 12, 2012 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

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