Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In neither taste nor precision

Publishing friends, have you heard of this coinage? Muphry's Law states

(a) if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written;
(b) if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book;
(c) the stronger the sentiment expressed in (a) and (b), the greater the fault;
(d) any book devoted to editing or style will be internally inconsistent.

It goes on to say:

Muphry's Law also dictates that, if a mistake is as plain as the nose on your face, everyone can see it but you. Your readers will always notice errors in a title, in headings, in the first paragraph of anything, and in the top lines of a new page. These are the very places where authors, editors and proofreaders are most likely to make mistakes.

I make enough honest mistakes (my recent favorite-- claiming that I want a brewpup some day, and I do! but that's not what I meant at the time) to avoid making one ironically to end this post.

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