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Verbiage: Slow reader, catch mistakes, continuity.

Chacham (981) writes | more than 10 years ago

PC Games (Games) 15

So, i'm a slow reader. I'm still trying to improve it, and with mild success. I now preview books and authors, and overview a chapter before reading it. All in all it helps, but my actual speed is slow.

There is an advatage, however. I catch mistakes. While many people assume what the word says, i don't. And that may be why i am so slow. Which makes me wonder as to which is the cause, and which is the effect.

So, i'm a slow reader. I'm still trying to improve it, and with mild success. I now preview books and authors, and overview a chapter before reading it. All in all it helps, but my actual speed is slow.

There is an advatage, however. I catch mistakes. While many people assume what the word says, i don't. And that may be why i am so slow. Which makes me wonder as to which is the cause, and which is the effect.

Oddly enough, i make spelling mistakes myself that i don't catch on the proofread. Yet, if i read it again at a later date, i do. Probably the re-read material is glossed over, since i already know what it says, and thus don't do an actual read.

Latest caught mistake is in "The Career Programmer", reviewed on solidus full-stop a short time ago, by Christopher Duncan. On page 138, third line, at the end, it says "desert" where it should say "dessert".

Other people catch mistakes in movies. That is something i'm not so good at. My conjecture, therefore, is that continuity and accuracy are not related, at least as perceived by the mind. Just something to think about.

[
    Wow. Stop.
    Such short thoughts. Stop.
    Oh well. Stop.
]

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I have the same ability (1)

mskfisher (22425) | more than 10 years ago | (#7874078)

I'm what could be rudely described as a grammar/spelling nazi... if I would actually correct people all the time (which I don't). As a contrast to you, though, I read at about 500 wpm with relatively high accuracy.
I have no love for the specific names or parts of language, but I know what "fits" and what looks right. Some claim that's inherent with learning the language natively, but I disagree... some native speakers are the worst spellers and grammaticists I've ever seen.

I also do not pick out continuity errors in movies, unless it's painfully blatant - like shaving cream moving from one side of someone's face to another.
I guess there some goofs in, say, Memento [imdb.com] or Return of the King [imdb.com] , but I didn't notice a one at the time.
I'm more likely to groan at a terrible plot (like Double Jeopardy [imdb.com] - my friends and I made fun of the plot as it was going... and even our most outrageous, mockery-laden plot suggestions/predictions turned out to be true.)

Re:I have the same ability (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7875670)

but I disagree... some native speakers are the worst spellers and grammaticists I've ever seen.

So many reason can be said. Perhaps its just if someone cares. Or has an appreciation for language in general.

Ahh yes, the printed word. (1)

dmorin (25609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7874329)

A favorite game of mine is looking for most "obvious" spelling / word mistakes, such as in professionally made signs. I mean, when you're talking about a 50,000 word book and you find one word that was typoed into being a different but still valid word, that's acceptable to me (a pain, but still understandable). Or in the case you describe, where somebody flat out uses the wrong word. Bigger points for finding spelling mistakes, that do not result in a dictionary word (and thus should have been caught by spellcheckers).

Some of my favorites:

  • A billboard in North Carolina advertising a Gentelman's Club. I mean, come on, the lettering had to be a few feet tall.
  • A sign in the JavaONE pavilion for "PERSISTANCE" Software. I walked up to one of the guys at the booth and said "Is that really your name? Did you do that on purpose?" and he just hung his head and said "I know....I know...."
  • Seen on a commercial truck on the way to work a few weeks ago: "Oil Heat. Clean. Safe. Eficient."
  • When I was a little kid we once took home one of those notes about the school christmas pageant or something. The last line was something like "Rickets can be picked up at school." My mom thought that was hilarious, I didn't get it, until she told me that rickets was a disease you get if you don't get enough milk.
It's fun to do with restaurant menus, too. It's common in your basic Italian restaurant to find words like "mozzarella" and "parmigiana" (sp?) spelled several different ways all on the same page. And every now and then you find "chikcen" or "cukumber".

Re:Ahh yes, the printed word. (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7874485)

I knew gentleman was spelled incorrectly, yet i couldn't figure out why, before using a dictionary. :)

My favorite was an ad i saw in a Jewish newspaper. The city was "Boro Park", yet they spelled it "Boro Pork". Now *that* was funny.

"No trespassing violators will be prosecuted." (2, Funny)

SolemnDragon (593956) | more than 10 years ago | (#7874695)

"No trespassing violators will be prosecuted."

"No trespassing; violators will be prosecuted."

It makes a difference.

Re:"No trespassing violators will be prosecuted." (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7875628)

Very good! :)

Along with "slow children", these signs are a good laugh.

Re:"No trespassing violators will be prosecuted." (1)

SolemnDragon (593956) | more than 10 years ago | (#7875732)

On Grove St, in Belmont, MA, there's a sign as you come round the corner that says, "Playground." Nothing wrong there, as there is indeed a playground about 25 feet ahead, across the street. But you don't see that. What you see is a sign saying, "Playground"... attached firmly to the metal fence of a cemetery! It's beautiful and sick, and i need to get a photo one of these days...

Re:"No trespassing violators will be prosecuted." (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7876164)

Interesting.

On that note, i love the expressway entrance ramp signs showing no left turn.

And, in Canada, near one of the entrances tro the Ambassador Bridge (Windsor/Detroit) there are traffic lights that instead of giving a green light, gives two arrows. <- ->. It has got to be the most confusing light. Perhaps i shall grab that picture one day.

Re:Ahh yes, the printed word. (1)

FroMan (111520) | more than 10 years ago | (#7876198)

One of my favorites (and my wife's) is when Christmas comes around with all the tree vendors selling Christmas trees. Well, one year we saw a sign on a local bar:

Beer
Scotch
Fur
Pine

The "beer" was the normal signage for the bar, the "scotch" just happened to be right below the "beer." Then, "fir" is the proper spelling for the tree, whereas "fur" conjures some odd ideas about PETA activists.

One thing my wife and I like doing is looking for signs that have certain letters burned out of them. The best one I have seen was a Burger King sign: BURG_R KING HOME OF THE _HOPPER

Re:Ahh yes, the printed word. (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7876451)

You should go in and ask to see the hopper. :)

Re:Ahh yes, the printed word. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7876317)

It was 'eficient'; he saved one entire 'f'.

Misreadings (1)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7874927)

There is an advatage, however. I catch mistakes. While many people assume what the word says, i don't. And that may be why i am so slow. Which makes me wonder as to which is the cause, and which is the effect.

I suffer from exactly the opposite -- I sometimes read so fast that I make up new mistakes on the go :)

And yes, I too tend to find typos all the time, although they don't irritate me. But what's much worse is all kinds of errors someone has made in translation. A lousy translation can simply ruin even the best book.

Re:Misreadings (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7875648)

I sometimes read so fast that I make up new mistakes on the go

I've suffered from that when i *thought* it said something else. Then do a double take. :)

And translations can be bad. In anime, and movies in general, i prefer subs to dubs, to minimize the issue.

Proofreading (1)

turg (19864) | more than 10 years ago | (#7876891)

I think everyone has the problem with proofreading their own work. There are some tricks to get around it. If you read it out loud, you are much more likely to trip over the mistakes. Even then you might still gloss over some, but there's one more trick: read it out loud to someone else. It's really wierd but it works -- I can read it to myself and not have a problem but when I read it out loud to someone the mistakes stop me cold (the mis-spelled word might as well be in a foreign language, it's just impossible to get past it without pausing and thinking "what's that supposed to say?")

Anyway, I used to work as a proofreader at a newspaper and I've also found that proofreading ability is not at all correlated with a tendency to not make mistakes oneself. In fact, I think that proofreading made my own spelling worse. There were some words I saw spelled so many different ways that I wasn't sure which one was right anymore -- I would just look it up every time I came across it.

OTOH, I am a very fast reader. But (other people's) mistakes just jump out at me. I drive people crazy sometime because they give me something to check and I just sit down and immediately start marking the errors at a glance.

Re:Proofreading (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7877115)

Even then you might still gloss over some, but there's one more trick: read it out loud to someone else.

Neat idea.

Nice comment.
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