Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Cutting Corners on Proofreading

Collected Works of Erasmus, Vol. 33: Adages II i 1 to II vi 100, translated and annotated by R.A.B. Mynors (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991), p. 11 (II i 1 Festina lente = Make haste slowly):
It is provided by law that no man should sew a shoe together or make a cupboard, unless he has been approved by his trade guild; yet these eminent authors, to whose works we owe religion itself, are published to the world by men so ill-educated that they cannot so much as read, so idle that they are not prepared to read over what they print, and so mercenary that they would rather see a good book filled with thousands of mistakes than spend a few paltry gold pieces on hiring someone to supervise the proof-correcting.
In Latin:
Curatum est legibus, ne quis consuat calceum, ne quis faciat scrinium, nisi fuerit ab eius opificii sodalitio comprobatus; et tantos autores, quorum monumentis etiam religio debetur, emittunt in vulgus adeo literarum ignari, vt ne legere quidem possint, adeo ignaui, vt nec relegere libeat, quod excuditur, adeo sordidi, vt citius patiantur sex milibus mendarum oppleri bonum librum quam paucis aureolis velint conducere, qui praesit castigationi.
For a modern example of cutting corners on proofreading see Michael Hendry, "G or L: Who Can Tell?" Curculio (September 26, 2016).

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