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Monthly Archives: June 2008

Has proof reading been outsourced?

To someplace like Bulgaria? Or one of the smaller nations somewhere in the world where English is definitely not one of the more common languages? Some place that’s never seen a map, maybe?

The book I’m reading right now is one of the most egregious examples of a publishing house screwing over a writer that I’ve ever seen. The average number of typos per page is 6. Obvious typos like ‘that’ for ‘than’, etc. Aren’t these things supposed to be caught in pre-publication? And fixed?

But the worst thing of all is from the author. But it STILL wasn’t caught in the proof reading stage.

I can accept a change in geography from a science fiction novel where the landscape has changed because of climate change, tectonic movement or big ugly monsters taking a bit out of the continent. I can accept it from alternate universe novels where a city that exists in this reality was maybe founded in some other place in that one.

I wouldn’t accept it from straight fiction. People who write fiction make up places all the time, but when they mention a real place, they don’t put it anywhere but where it is.

But we’re talking about a NON-FICTION book that puts Savannah, Georgia on the Georgia/Florida border. That rankles. Savannah is only 100 miles from Charleston. We go there often. But we also know that it’s just past the SC/GA line and 100 miles from Florida. The way this author has placed them, Savannah would have to be a suburb of Jacksonville…or the other way around.

How hard is it to look at a map? To make sure of what you’re talking about? Why wasn’t it caught by the editor? It feels like the editing consisted of running the text through spell-check and leaving it like that. Don’t publishing houses hire people who read? Because I can’t imagine anyone who reads letting this go to press without blowing a gasket.

Will somebody please explain ETHICAL to peta?

Not too far from where I’m sitting is the beautiful Mepkin Abbey. The monks, to support themselves, have an egg production facility that supplies 60% of their annual income. The eggs were good, the facility clean, never even a hint of a problem with the quality of the eggs.

Then came PETA. They installed an undercover operative as a retreatant, someone who wishes a reflective time in spiritual surroundings, who took a video camera and ignored the few restricted areas at the abbey. The monks don’t keep people out of their barns in order to hide anything, but to keep from bringing in disease to the hens.

When this ‘retreatant’ was caught, did the monks ask him to leave? Throw him out on the street? Take his camera? No, they expressed disappointment…and then allowed this person access to everything and gave him interviews. All of which were then creatively edited to make the monks out to be these heartless, chicken abusing monsters.

Did it stop there? No, that wasn’t enough (including the publication of the edited video everywhere they could find a place). PETA started a campaign of harassment at the abbey, disrupting services, meditations and work. The monks no longer trusted requests for retreats from other than people who had been there before, losing another segment of income. They harassed grocery stores that carried the monks’ eggs, trying to deprive residents of the choice of local produts.

The monks caved. They are halting egg production. Without that income, this may be the end of the abbey. PETA says they’ll help them with -advice- about how to go to some other business venture. But that’s all, just advice.

They will destroy a 60 year tradition in this segment of SC.

“Our life is wholly ordered to contemplation. We dedicate ourselves to the worship of God through a hidden life within the monastery. It is a life of solitude and silence, assiduous prayer, joyful penance, and work.”

How ‘ethical’ is it to disrupt this with shouting and protests day after day? For that matter, how ethical is it to lie to gain access to a place that you would have been allowed to see if you’d only asked? How ethical is it to edit video footage to show only one side and then present it as an objective view?

It’s crap like this that makes sure that any good PETA -might- do will be overlooked. The bad so seriously outweighs the good that most thinking people run the other way when they see this group of bullies involved in anything.

Pick up a dictionary. Read the definition of ethics. There is nothing ETHICAL about PETA. Nothing at all.

Where have all the comments gone?

You may notice that no comments are visible. I’m sorry about that. I loved having your comments.

Then one day, the 8th or 9th time I was removing comment spam in less than 4 hours, I hit the wrong place and deleted ALL comments. I guess it was just frustration that made me careless.

Well, I finally got a spam-killer plug-in for wordpress. It is now installed and I haven’t had any comment spam since activating it. It’s wp-spamkiller and available at the wordpress homepage.

Comments will still be held for moderation due to idiots but, except for the spam, there hasn’t been anything I’ve had to delete in a long, long time.