Is it just me? Lately many of the things I read contain glaring errors. It first hit me while reading Tim Tyler's Memetics.

"If memetics explains only explains the imitation of observed behavior, ..." (p 96)

"Perhaps biological an cultural differ..." (p 173)

"Genetic engineers can now take information form wherever they like..."

"However, not everyone seems agree that ..." (both on p 184)

"The upright gait hypothesis hypothesis is interesting for several reasons." (p 206)

I thought, "Didn't the editor even read this? Who was this?" But, lo, no editor was credited. There was no editor! Is this a new cost-cutting trend in publishing?

But the news lately has been just as bad.

It is original from the Andean area of South Africa and widely grown in both the north of Chile and Argentina and the south Mexico, especially Ecuador.

A Promising Fruit: The Tree Tomato

That sample was from today's Science Daily. Yesterday I noticed four or five glaring errors. This is disorienting, even a little scary. Has literacy decline crossed a tipping point?

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No apostrophes needed to mangle this message:

(Sign:) ATTENTION: Toilet ONLY for DISABLED ELDERLY PREGNANT CHILDREN / THANK YOU for shopping with us!!!(OK... someone with advanced progeria might be a disabled elderly child....)

Oh dear! I hope the one who created this piece reads your remark, Grinning Cat!

GC, I see signs like that quite often, but not as bad as that one.  I'm often amused at the same time I'm irritated by them.  

I've seen signs on doors that reads "KEEP THIS DOOR CLOSED AT ALL TIMES".  My first thought is always "Why have a door that can't be used?"

The one I see all the time, and enjoy making jokes about, is the one that reads "SLOW CHILDREN AT PLAY".

Similarly, more than once I've seen signs asking people to put "toilet paper only" in a toilet. Taken literally, that defeats the purpose of having the toilet in the first place!

I've not seen a "Toilet paper only" sign, but I'll watch for it.

This toilet probably doesn't need to be cleaned very frequently!

I don't expect people to babysit me and it is my responsibility to use The Elements of Style manual. However, I continue to make horrid mistakes and I work hard to learn the accepted styles. I, too, notice glaring errors on A/N. My goal is to have a strong voice in the public square. To do that, we have to show that we know the basics of English. We are not bumpkins with a fourth-grade education. I appreciate those who correct me. I wonder if others feel as I? I know, those who correct English get a label, such as, "Word Police" or worse. 

What say you? 

I'm always appreciative of anyone pointing out errors I've made (especially as my proofreading skills continue to erode). But I tend not to point out others' mistakes unless I know they want me to.

I agree that having a strong voice involves not distracting our audience with misspellings, grammar mistakes, or gratuitous weirdness. It's analogous to the "vanilla" fonts used in newspapers, that become invisible; you notice the message, not the typeface.

In other words, newspapers don't do this:

And I too appreciate corrections!

(When I quote people, I usually silently correct obvious typos.)

Do you, Grinning Cat. I have often wondered what I should do. Perhaps a quiet correction is best. I would appreciate a loud bit of information to correct my errors. It is nice to know how you, each one of you, feel about grammar and whether to correct or not. 

I usually like to send corrections privately.

On the other hand, if a Tea Partier tells us to "get a brain" and calls us "morans", I'll gladly laugh out loud.

This one's like a classic. It's a lot like "Get your government hands off my Medicare."

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