Have the proof-reader shot

5474224120_9a29336443_b

Some nice Twainisms in David Crystal’s Guardian article about his new book Making a Point: the pernickety story of English punctuation.

Yesterday Mr. Hall wrote that the printer’s proof-reader was improving my punctuation for me; I telegraphed orders to have him shot without giving him time to pray.

I give it up. These printers pay no attention to my punctuation, Nine-tenths of the labor & vexation put upon me by Messrs Spottiswoode & Co consists in annihilating their ignorant & purposeless punctuation & restoring my own.
This latest batch, beginning with page 145 & running to page 192 starts out like all that went before it – with my punctuation ignored & their insanities substituted for it. I have read two pages of it – I can’t stand any more. If they will restore my punctuation themselves & then send the purified pages to me I will read it for errors of grammar & construction – that is enough to require of an author who writes as legible a hand as I do, & who knows more about punctuation in two minutes than any damned bastard of a proof-reader can learn in two centuries.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/sep/30/punctuation-commas-apostrophes-wordsworth
Photo : http://www.flickr.com/photos/12176921@N05/5474226142

Untitled

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Have the proof-reader shot

  1. Laugage, spellling, grammar and punctuation have all changed. It is a living language. I must admit I’ve become quite sloppy about the whole matter. One becomes a bit frustrated when your computer steps in and changes it all to gibberish.
    Leslie

    Like

      1. Aoife, there you go, it didn’t do that for me, however, that goes to show you there is no consistency to Autocorrect. I wish it would correct me when I spell my name wrong.
        Leslei

        Liked by 1 person

          1. How many members? I’m a stickler too but on a personal level–my red pen days are over. Would never write an essay about the topic. There are so many other things to get upset about.

            Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s