pencil corrections

Occasionally, it is the case that misprints are annoying enough that you forgive the person who has taken the trouble to point out the correction in spite of it being fairly obvious in the first place.

Other times, that person has not only defaced the book but got it wrong. Or at least not improved it. My recent examples:


“The situation, however, is even worse than Saussure describes it.”


“The situation, however, is even worse than what Saussure describes.”


“Once upon a most early time was a Neolithic man.”


“Once upon a most early time there was a Neolithic man.”

Do these people just not get it?

6 thoughts on “pencil corrections

  1. Sometimes it is justified though. I’ve been reading too much stuff online (all these cutting edge journal articles dontcha know) so am missing out on what the community of HB wielding hyperpedants are contributing – when the comments are (legible and) content-related they can be mildly interesting to read. I remember once getting the library’s only copy of Educating Eve and being simultaneously captivated by the argument and amused at all the highlighting and exclamation marks and infuriated swearwords in the margins. (They gave up after the first chapter and a half i think – i bought my own copy.) Must have been some enraged Pinkerite doing some sort of ‘language instinct’ reaction – but a reaction to the argumentation rather than minor points of style from a less than informed position !


  2. Don’t you mean rediculous?

    One of the most painful things i’ve ever read was a republication of a 17th century treatise on the atonement with glosses in square brackets every few words or so ostensibly to make it comprehensible to the Modern Reader. It went:

    “Had he not [if he had not] done X, they had [they would have] been forever undone [ruined]. And had he not [if he had not] done Y, …” etc.

    Clumsy, egregious, and a hindrance to both comprehension and devotion :-|


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