Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The web needs an editor

Things like this drive me absolutely crazy!
A spokeswoman for UnitedHealthcare's Golden Rule said 89 percent of the people who apply for insurance get it. Ellen Laden, the company's public relations director, told 7NEWS that most insurers have their own propriety height and weight guidelines.
Most insurers have their own propriety height and weight guidelines?! Really?! I could believe that most insurers have their own proprietary height and weight guidelines. But propriety? Come on! Sadly enough, this is not a one-off occurrence, either. No, I find issues like this on almost every site that I go to.

And I'm not even talking about blogs or other non-professional sites where anyone can write whatever they want without it having to go through an editorial process. Heck, anyone can make a spelling error or grammatical mistake without it raising a fit. No, what bothers me is that these are news-related or other "professional" (yeah, you'd better believe that term goes in quotations!) sites that print things without it seeming to have gone through even a single proof-reading by someone with even a basic level of experience in the usage of English grammar. I see it on CNN, FoxNews, BBC, ForeignPolicy and others. For those sites in countries where English is not a native language, I can cut some slack because translations are a difficult thing. (Heck, I speak two languages conversationally and a third if I brush up on it. I know how difficult it is trying to find the right translations to get the right idea across, let alone spelling and grammar.)

But I am talking about sites where I would expect someone to be vetting the stories being posted for some degree of basic grammatical capability that does not otherwise slaughter the language. It annoys me to no end to see those errors. Until now, I've tried not to post anything but this one just set me off. It's not even a simple misspelling, it's a wrong word! The word used makes no sense whatsoever in that context! And no one picked up on that before posting it for the world to laugh at them?! But I'm going to make a more conscious effort to point these out in the hopes that someone is paying attention. Heck, maybe I can land a part-time job helping professional organizations with copy-editing. Clearly more than a few are in need of it.

Or maybe I'm the only one who has picked up on it? In which case, the Twitterification of the language is making me obsolete. After all, hoo needs 2 lrn how 2 spel 2day whn u cn only use 140 chars?

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