23 February 2004

A little rant

You'd think that, if someone's going to write a book, they'd do a bit of research on what's actually involved, wouldn't you? They'd have a good dictionary and a range of style guides on hand. They'd familiarise themselves with publishing conventions.

I mean, they're the ones with their name on the cover. If the book's a mickey mouse shambles, they're the ones who look bad. You'd think that might be a factor as well. Well, actually, that's the argument that usually works.

It's unfortunate that sometimes people see the little list that's occasionally on the title page verso that includes the words 'Edited by David Cauchi'. Then it's you who looks bad. No-one's to know the long, impassioned arguments you've had - long, impassioned arguments that were blithely ignored. No-one's to know the last-minute changes that were made in total ignorance of the basic rules of punctuation, grammar, and usage and that you never saw. No, all they see are basic, stupid errors. They assume you don't know what you're doing.

Note: Careful readers will have noticed that I use the Oxford comma and the singular they. I might at some point advance arguments justifying this use, but I can't be bothered right now.

Maybe at some point I'll go on about my own peculiar (and somewhat contradictory) heresy that standardised spelling and usage is a historical aberration, but I can't be bothered with that right now either.

Nope, I better get back to work. I've got to go into town at some stage to replace the eftpos card I lost on Saturday night. I need to take the Tony Fomison video back to the library as well.

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