WTF is that thing in the bottom right corner of the picture?!
Body part or sex toy?
We at Vulture Central know only too well that it has been an extremely busy week in the world of phone-hacking for reporters across the land, but that's surely no excuse for this worrisome piece of sloppy copy from none other than Auntie this morning. The BBC news magazine has thankfully now corrected its "Phone-hacking: The …
Although not one that is acceptable from such a high and mighty organisation as the BBC, this is a very common mistake. Last night I was reading through some technical articles on OpenBSD network security, written by an obviously intelligent person, which was littered with the exact same gotcha. If people only read their work back to themselves in a proof reading exercise, this would be easily caught.
Awaits grammar check report from fellow commentards.
Guten Tag Herr Commentard - I'm happy to oblige
Your statement "which was" should be "which were" as you wouldn't say "the articles was".
Also "proof reading" should be "proofreading".
I'm also a little unhappy about the penultimate sentence.
I now await "You call yourself a grammar nazi?!" replies...
Everything I write and publish is a work of art and 100% correct until someone points in the first sentence its complete gibberish and their eyes have started bleeding from its hidiousness.
You need someone else who has not seen the work before to read through it and see what mistakes they find.
Paris because I probably just wrote a load of gibberish.
It is not just the BBC (or El Reg) who seem to have trouble with spelling and grammar. Plenty of online and print media make silly mistakes, such using metre instead of meter (and vice-versa) and getting the SI units wrong (MHz, not mhz)!
The problem stems from the "education" system. Whilst I was studying BTEC National Certificate and Higher National Certificate in Electronic Engineering, I was pleased to see how each year, we re-visited and revised the previous year's work, then added to its complexity. Schools should adopt this approach when teaching maths and English. You could ask me to 'conjugate a verb', but I cannot remember how!
Also, there's a difference (a factor of eight) between Mb and MB.
b - bit
B - byte (8 bits)
Obviously this shouldn't be a shock to anyone on here, but the number of times some numpty gets those confused when trying to sell me internet access drives me potty.
(Mental image of toilet with steering wheel. Must lie down...)
i frequently find myself reaching for the "Contact the Editors" page to inform them of misspelt words or poor grammatical constructions. It's really very disappointing.
I had English Comprehension, English Language *AND* grammar lessons at school. I grew to love my engagement with my mother tongue and I feel pretty confident that I can both speak and write to a high, consistent level with minimal errors. I certainly take pride in the fact that I can use their, there and they're appropriately (and the same for its / it's / its' - SERIOUSLY, IT'S NOT THAT HARD). The plague of hyphens slowly infesting written British English is a particular bugbear too... Hyphen-this, intersected-that! Unnecessary and illogical in some cases.
The old gem I always wheel out in these situations is a crudely handwritten sign outside the village where I grew up: "TRACTOR,S TURNING"
Mine's the one with the Oxford Super Compact Pico Pocket English Dictionary in it
.. you too shall eventually succumb to the "teh" problem as your word processor (be it MS Office, OpenOffice or now even the Apple autocorrect in Lion and anything iOS) is busy ramming that into your muscle memory with unrelenting force. You can thank Microsoft for that.
Eats, shoots, and leaves.
"BBC grammar standards have been falling for quite some time. It is not often that I read a BBC article without incorrect grammar."
Opinion stated as fact, too many clauses for clarity of meaning, reversing negatives. 5/10. see me.
In my opinion, standards of grammar at the BBC have been falling for some time. The BBC articles that I have read often contain grammatical errors.
As somebody who works within the proofreading and editing industry, I must say that I've seen a dramatic increase in the sloppiness of the BBC's online articles in the last few years. Typos, poorly structured sentences, and occasional factual inconsistencies. For an institution that was once the pride not only of Britain but also of the media industry as a whole, the BBC these days is a shameful thing that I stopped being proud of quite some time ago. Pull your act together. I understand that there is time pressure and live posting of articles, and that many of the errors (cock/clock) won't be caught by any automatic process, but really, how hard can it be to hire somebody to give each article a quick once-over or even just (in many cases) run a simple spell-check before posting?
"how hard can it be to hire somebody to give each article a quick once-over or even just (in many cases) run a simple spell-check before posting?"
It is quite hard, when the response would be:
"The BBC are wasting MY hard-earned licence fee (Telly Tax more like!!!) to hire pointless pencil pushers who do NOTHING all day accept looking at the Internet! You could sack half the BBC and no one would notice. And the civil service. Put them all on the dole and the average hard working family could save a fortune! As for these benefit scroungers, why don't they get jobs? We should take their dole money off them and the average hard working family could save a fortune! And why are there so many homeless these days? It's bringing down the property prices of hard working families..."
Or something like that. At the third stroke, the time sponsored by Black Sheep* is Pub O'Clock.
* Other beverages are available.
However a speller thinks this bit of doggerel is correct. (Why does ElReg insist on replacing all line breaks with an empty line?)
Eye halve a spelling chequer;
It came with my pea sea.
It plane lee marques four my revue
Miss stakes eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong or write;
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid,
It nose bee fore two long;
And eye can put the error rite--
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
Eye am shore your pleased two no;
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
I think there's a problem with being too reliant on spelling checkers. These errors all pass a spell check, so they don't even bother to check by eye for grammatical problems.
I heard a guy on BBC 4 a few days ago talking about the 'atrocious lack of English pronounciation' around today. Oh dear.
My favourite I saw a few years ago on the Beeb website:
"Worker suspended over missing body."
Brought to mind all sorts of existential ideas as to how to achieve this. Turns out a body had gone missing from a morgue, and a worker had been... you get it now.
Still, had me going for a bit.
It's bad enough that "hacking" is used instead of "cracking", but even that still used to imply a modicum of skill. This voicemail hacking was anything but. No 3 strikes lockout, no log files to avoid - nothing. Just dull "let's try the next number" after starting with the service defaults. Yawn.
Besides, anyone with a VoIP setup doesn't even need to bother with PIN codes. Set caller ID to target phone, then call voicebox number. As long as it's inland you go straight in.
We've been sorting this problem for our clients since 2009 or so. It's not even hard to fix..
Note to self: find and kill OSX Lion autocorrect before I stab the screen with a pen.
A truly diabolical All/April Fools/Fool's Day prank is to add a line to the end of the auto-correct file, so that "the" is "corrected" to "teh."
The result is that, regardless of whether the victim types "the" or "teh," he always ends up with "teh."
Adding to the mayhem is that co-workers and tech support flunkies are unlikely to be familiar with this gotcha!
"The BBC are wasting MY hard-earned licence fee (Telly Tax more like!!!) to hire pointless pencil pushers who do NOTHING all day accept looking at the Internet!..."
"The BBC is," perhaps?
"...pointless pencil pushers..." Aren't there any pencil sharpeners in the BBC offices?
"...who do NOTHING all day accept looking at the Internet!..." This gaffe was truly exceptional!
@Martin - this was my apparently feeble attempt to emulate the rantings of a rabid, anti-BBC type, on hearing that the BBC might employ someone to do something other than the direct making of TV shows. I was quite pleased with the "pointless pencil pushers" pun...
@Magnus - I've been accused of many things but that really hurts...
Me=Fail because I had to explain it.
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