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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That's a whole nother issue!

English might evolve to recognize that as standard... after all, the 'n' has moved between a/an and other words before, as in adder (a nadder), apron (a napron), newt (an ewte), nickname (an eke name), and umpire (a noumpere). Something similar may have happened before orange reached English; it's easy to mishear una narancia or une narange ("but perhaps influenced by French or 'gold'").

(Links are to Douglas Harper's Online Etymology Dictionary, a useful "map of the wheel-ruts of modern English".)

Color names such as "or" survive in English in the specialized domain of heraldry -- confusing to those of us who know it only as a conjunction or disjunction!

I don't think autocowreck autocorrect helps much with this:Before autocorrect, there was Muriel (a gray-haired woman with three cats sitting on her front lawn, with a man with a smartphone passing by. She has a sign: “There / their / they’re - use them correctly!”)

Seen online:

"If I were a spelling bee judge:

 Me: Spell 'their'.

 Contestant: Sentence, please.

 Me: They're going to build their new house over there."

Theiyre're - take that, grammar police!

Where is Muriel when we need her? 

An editor at The Grauniad Guardian writes about their increase in accuracy:

To return to spelling, you doubt that we have made "vast improvements"? How about this 45-year-old cutting from the paper:

"The Republican National Comittee decided in the spring that its chances of the White House in 1964 would be very slim indeed if it did not capture California, the second largest state, in 1962. Nobody less than its strongest possible vote-getter would do to defeat the incumbent Governor, Edmund (Pat) Brown. When it said this, Mr Nion was looking towards Washington, but the committee was liiking at Mr Nixon. He would have to oick the candidate, and if he oicked another man, eho lost, the party would be loth to nominate for the Preidency a national leader whose influence could not carry his own state in a state election. Yet, if Mr Noxon ran himself and won, he would practiclly forsweat the presidency; for, like allaspiring governors, he has been bocal and bitter about men who use the governor's mansion as a springboard int the White House."

(Mind your language: The style guide editor on … forsweating all errors, David Marsh)

"Bocal and bitter" -- does that describe a bassonist who's been told yet again, "I just love the sound of the oboe"?

(image source, way out of context!)

Even my spell checker missed a few mistakes. 

Even more relevant in the age of autocowreck:

Famous 'anti-Tea-Party' image of a pro-war counterprotester outside the Boeing missile plant outside St. Louis, Missouri on 3/23/2003, a long-haired mustached man in a blue headcovering with white stars recalling the American flag, and a Cardinals t-shirt, and holding a sign, 'GET A BRAIN! MORANS' Captioned: SPELLING - It's kind of impotent.




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