Monday, May 19, 2008

Beem me up, Scotty, it's teaming with illiterates down here

This morning, for the umpty squillionth time, I have seen this combination of words in print, where it has presumably been written by professional writers/journalists and then passed the scrutiny of professional editors, and not just in print but in the online version of what used to be one of the country's best newspapers:

SNEAK PEAK

They mean "peek", which is a quick, often surreptitious look at something. A peak is the usually slightly pointy top of a mound. Mountains have them, as do meringues and nipples.

You might get a sneak peek at a peak in a wardrobe malfunction situation, or into the briefly opened oven door, or through the swirling mist. But it's not an excusable mistake from anyone who's paid to write words and/or check them. It Just. Is. Not.

*Sulks*

23 comments:

ocky said...

The talents of sub-editors are not much "sort after" these days. (To quote a recent, and alarmingly common, catch.)

The Age is going downhill fast, like every other paper, because most of their writers are not interested in writing. They wanna be players. They wanna be celebrities.

*Grump, sulk, harrumph*

TimT said...

Obviously, a 'sneak peak' is either an orgasm had on the sly, or a conniving and shifty mountain top. There is something to be said for both of the above!

Pavlov's Cat said...

And against, TimT. And against.

Ocky, 'sort after' is a beauty -- hadn't registered it thus far but I'm sure it will leap (sorry, leep) out at me on a daily basis from now on.

Peter said...

"Incidences" for "incidents" is one of my current twitches.
- And, I would say "Here, here!", except that I can never remember whether it should be "Hear, hear!".

Anonymous said...

Obviously the peaking sneak was destined to peek over the peak but never made it, unfortunately and in its wrongful stead, crashing into it, in journo speak.

Another Outspoken Female said...

In the food oriented part of the blogosphere a Fairfax journalist has been repeatedly blowing hot air up her own skirt by mouthing off in every public forum how Australian food bloggers are second rate and journalists are the ants pants (after all she's been writing for years, they have editors, they are professionals...). Of course she's a blogger too but she's different from the rest because she's a journalist.

Strangely, without the benefit of an editor, she doesn't know the difference between quite and quiet.

Hell, my grammar and spelling is the pits but at least I haven't got a professional reputation to wreck in the process!

Pavlov's Cat said...

AOF -- Heh heh heh.

Peter -- I can't tell whether you know or not but it's 'Hear, hear!', said in an approving tone; it's a verb in the imperative mood, as for a command, and short for 'I'm telling you to hear what this person is saying!' There's at least one character in Dickens who actually says 'Hear that man!' at a meeting or a rally or something, to no-one in particular.

Not to be confused with 'Here, here', adverbial, usually said in an admonitory tone by a parent to a child, and meaning (or so I have always assumed) 'Look over here, where I'm telling you to stop that at once!' Used for the sort of behaviour that would elicit 'Order!' from the chairman or Speaker in meetings or Parliament.

AFAIK, this has nothing to do with 'There, there', said in a soothing tone and meaning 'Never mind', which in turn has nothing to do with 'Now, now', again admonitory but less so, a kind of Clayton's 'Here, here.'

If anyone has ever said 'Then, then' or 'Everywhere, everywhere', I don't know what they meant.

Zarquon said...

If you'd never mentioned this, it would have been a sneak pique.

Peter said...

Thanks for that discourse, PC. My wife agrees with you, so you must be right, although she claims just one admonitory "Here" should suffice. It usually does.
As a retired engineer, perhaps I should do an Eng Lit course to see how much fun I have been missing. It would beat chasing termites around the Granny Flat, which was today's therapeutic occupation.

clarencegirl said...

Loved the sly dig in your post title!
The example I enjoyed most this last week was reading that a liquid substance of some sort was contained in a "vile".
The error that annoys me the most is the American spelling of "sceptic" with a "k" which regularly appears in print.

Zoe said...

My son's kindy teacher trys really hard, which I find trying.

And AOF, she reads at least one of Pav's blogs (she's linked to the Bronte sisters before). I find that whole journalist/blogger divide so tiresome, particularly when the points she raises have been done to death in the less food oriented blog world for years. Of course there are some differences, such as a willingness to engage ...

ashleigh said...

How about DRAW, for the thing you put stuff in?

And LOSE, as in can't be found?

http://ashleigh.id.au/?p=822

Arrgghhh!!

Pavlov's Cat said...

Ashleigh, not sure what you mean by the second one -- do you mean that people write 'lose' when they mean 'lost'?

(For those not sure about this one: 'lose' is a verb that rhymes with 'ooze' and is the opposite of 'find'; 'loose' is an adjective that rhymes with 'moose' and is the opposite of 'tight'.)

Tim said...

For some reason I've always thought that "sceptic" was the American variant of "skeptic", not the other way around. In any case, "skeptic" has a nice Greek feel to it; "sceptic" is too close to "septic".

TimT said...

"Skeptic" is the spelling adopted by the Australian Skeptics, who I used to be a member of. I can't remember why they used that spelling - possibly to express affiliation with their American counterparts?!?

It's one of those counter-intuitive spellings, like "Australian Labor Party". Barry Humphries, in Old Conservative Mode, calls for Kevin Rudd to "... bring back the Labour party!" I agree with him about that!

Francis Xavier Holden said...

Another Outspoken Female:

That food tart in the Australian only retypes, or more likely cuts and pastes, press releases.

tigtog said...

My most recent snarl at my monitor was provoked by someone discussing "the reigns of power" or "handing over the reigns" or something similar. I blame the Windsors and their equine affinities for failing to keep the difference between the two words as distinct as it should be.

Helen said...

I heard a guy on AM this morning announcing something about Fuel Exercise.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Power walking?

Fyodor said...

Isn't it "Beam me up"?

Fyodor said...

Ah. Teeming, too.

*lightbulb*

Pavlov's Cat said...

Fyodor, I would say 'Gotcha!' but I am too much of a lady.

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