Monday, May 22, 2006

Oh Where, Oh Where Has Your Editor Gone?

Oh where, oh where can she be?
Your clauses are dangling,
Your research is flawed,
A total rewrite you need!

But if you want to show a child what poorly researched, badly written drek disguised as historical research looks like, click on this link.

8 comments:

Natalie said...

HA! I'll have to use that one. As for the link, I didn't click. I see (and have produced) enough written carnage to last a lifetime...

Daryl Cobranchi said...

I only made it through the first few paragraphs before a splitting headache kicked in.

And why was I not surprised to learn that the author is a UFOlogist?

Anonymous said...

"In Our Time" (May 11th) is a recent BBC programme discussing fairies, with a better pedigree. You'd need RealPlayer. "Juliette Wood, Associate Lecturer in the Department of Welsh at Cardiff University and Secretary of the Folklore Society; Diane Purkiss, Fellow and Tutor of English at Keble College, Oxford; Nicola Bown, Lecturer in Victorian Studies at Birkbeck, University of London." And Melvyn Bragg, who does one of these shows every week with a bunch of professors and such, on the extremely broad theme of "the history of ideas". A lot of them are scientific or political.

They identified what I think they called a Naga with European fairies, thematically, and said that many Indian aristocrats and minor royalty (i.e. in India) supposedly had had a Naga marry into the family line in the past, which from the description wouldn't necessarily have been very nice.

Robert Carnegie said...

That was me.

Lioness said...

Natalie, among his many delusions, he claims to be a LOTR scholar.

Robert, I'm trying to resist the urge to climb on my Ancient History soapbox, because if I do I'll be typing all day. :) Suffice to say that an awful lot of nobility claimed descent from gods, demi-gods and other divine spirits. It was the "in" thing to do in Europe until the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It's still done in Japan, and there have been documented cases where the "Divine Family origin story" jumped from one ruling family to another when power shifted in sub-Saharan Africa over the last 100 years. I especially enjoy the later Roman versions, where you can tell the writers and commentators are struggling to keep a straight face.

Stephanie in TX said...

I'm with Daryl. After a couple of paragraphs, my head spun.

Wow.

Robert Carnegie said...

Lioness, I'm reminded of Gilbert and Sullivan's Major-General in "The Pirates of Penzance", who escapes from the pirates with his implausibly large musical chorus of marriageable daughters (it's one of those shows: this is what they do) by telling a lie. The second act opens with him brooding over the ancestral graves in the grounds of his manor house, at the wrong he has done to the family honour. It is pointed out to him that he bought the estate quite recently and the graves are those of the original owners, and he retorts that, having purchased the property, he has also acquired the ancestors - he doesn't know whose ancestors they were, but they're his now!

It's a very silly show.

Uh, yeah, anyway... no, the piece doesn't even read well. It's like he didn't bother to read it back himself. I get emails like... well, to be honest, I send emails like that. At work (computer programming), if I'm worried about something, I write it down and send it to someone else. Unless and until I hear back, I don't need to worry again. This is called Documentation.

And I was employed for a while as a manual technician in a university department, where I was asked once if I could possibly just see my way to getting something published - anything at all... I presume the department heads get to pick songs for their karaoke evening according to who has more publications, or something.

Probably this guy works on a similar principle. As long as your fingers are moving on the keyboard, you're productive. Never look back.

Robert Carnegie said...

- and "Iolanthe" has fairies in it. But that's quite a silly show too - but quite good silly.