Monday, October 02, 2006

postal scrotum: XXXXX writes in!

I was asked to be discreet, so in the interest of avoiding Google searches and such...

XXXXX says that, originally, there was no "Americans" typo, but that the typo was probably added during the retyping of the article:

The procedure for the column is this: I'm supposed to come up with material from blogs, slap it together into something printable, and send it to by e-mail to an editor sometime before noon on Sunday. After that it's out of my hands. As for your quote, I picked it up on Sunday morning and I'd ask that you take my word for it when I tell you that this is the word-for-word quote that I put in the column:

At "BigHominid's Hairy Chasms" (, Kevin provided his take as to why locals are less than pleased with the design, "Koreans are understandably miffed that an American was paid to take a public (poop) in the middle of downtown Seoul."

The only change I made, for obvious reasons, was the word "shit" to "poop". As for the typos, I can only assume that someone at the JXXXXX did a shoddy job retyping the entire column. I'll try to get to the bottom of this because obviously it reflects poorly on me.

No worries, XXXXX. I make enough typos that it's possible that any given typo will have originated with me. I did have to edit the post in question after catching a couple errors. I might not have made the "Americans" error, but I did make others.

Ah-- and I've had a few more hits from the JXXXXX. Many thanks.

I have a history of bad luck when I'm quoted in papers, or when my articles are submitted to magazines. A few years back, I submitted an article to Mok Tak Magazine, a small Komerican publication about Korean Buddhism. The article detailed my three-day experience at Haeinsa, a temple about 90 minutes by bus from Taegu. I was delighted to have been published (payment was in the form of four or five free issues of the mag), but horrified to see that an entire section had been excised from my article without much care: the excision had occurred mid-sentence, leaving the reader to wonder where the hell the rest of the paragraph had gone. I wrote in to complain about this and received no response.

Lack of care about language does tend to be a problem, especially with the "that's why they have editors" crowd: the same sort of people who toss trash on the ground because they know a custodian will come by and clean it up later. I'm not blaming Mr. XXXXX for anything; I trust what he told me. But Korean editors working in English-- the custodians themselves!-- do need to exercise a bit more care. Imagine the reaction if non-native Korean speakers churned out brochures in broken Korean! If I were Korean, I'd be pretty miffed (or, at least, amused if the error were funny).

I do have to wonder, though, why the JXXXXX dude had to retype the entire text. Strikes me as a waste of time.


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