Read Enough…

[I posted this short piece to my Facebook wall and decided to share it here as well. Just some food for thought.]

Legal documents can be wrong. Peer-reviewed, edited materials written by stuffed-shirt academics can use terminology incorrectly, get details wrong, and reach unsupported conclusions. ┬áLive long enough or do enough research and you’ll encounter the first. Read enough stilted academic prose and you’ll encounter the second.

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One thought on “Read Enough…

  1. There’s one other category of error-causes…Sometimes ‘beginners’ offer to help with transcribing. Most do well, but some just don’t have enough experience to realized that what they think says “_whatever_” does not make sense for the category of info.

    One of my skills…caused by 34 years of teaching young children…is that certain letter combinations are common–while others would never exist in reality. In transcribing census records I’ve run into what looks like one thing but that is just not a possibility (such as a word with only consonants but no vowels). Then you must get creative, look at it closely and see which letter[s] are really vowels, etc. And I’ve even had the “expert last looker” correct it back to all consonants.

    So use some care in deciding if that name or place-name could be real — or might need another look. (And, as soon as I say that, you will run into a name that is spelled very oddly and will seem to break all rules.) Good Luck!

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