Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bits and pieces (1)

Today we present examples of miscellaneous errors.

Poor composition

“The Black Rock Desert is a semi-arid region (in the Great Basin shrub steppe eco-region), of lava beds and playa, or alkali flats, situated in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, a silt playa 100 miles north of Reno that encompasses more than 300,000 acres of land and contains more than 120 miles of historic trails. It is in the northern Nevada section of the Great Basin...” (Source) (Several links omitted.)

The reader has to read 39 words before being told where the desert is located (100 miles north of Reno).

Silly use of hedging

“We [hairdressers] are kind of like the fabric of people’s lives.” (Source)

The hairdresser makes a grand claim but hedges it twice. The reader is left to guess what she really meant to say.

Vague antecedent

“Take Camden, New Jersey, for example, a place that tops the list of most dangerous cities in America year after year. Residents of the city have been told when the criminals are at the door, calling the police wont be able to help them.” (Source)

Does “them” refer to “Residents” or “the criminals”?

The Takeaway: Whenever you are writing something for publication – even if it’s “just” a blog – try to have an experienced editor read your copy.

See disclaimer.

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