Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Copyediting Errors with Consequences!

I found this in my e-mail in box during a housekeeping session, and remembered that I'd meant to post about it.

Back at the end of January, the Girl brought home a note from school about tardinesses for the previous months. On it was written this:


Days tardy


Some background--now that she's in high school, the Girl travels to school under her own steam, and her school is not far away and starts a bit later than we're used to. But nonetheless we'd felt throughout the end of the year that she was leaving a bit late and had been asking about it. She's a teenager--she's hard to get up in the morning.

She kept assuring us that she hadn't been tardy--and then we get this note!!!

So we kind of landed on her. And told her that she needed to talk with her teachers or whoever to find out how they can change the signals they give (or how she can read them more accurately) if she thinks she wasn't late when she was.

Then, the next day, I got to thinking about it. What with vacations, and an odd teacher-prep day, there were only 15 days of school in that entire month! How could she have been tardy that  many times? So I was *really* mad at her.

But my Husband sent a note to the parent coordinator.
> We received a letter from [school] recently that flagged the Girl's* being late for
> school in December. Was she late on December 11th or was she late 11 times? The
> letter says one thing. My daughter is saying another.
> Much appreciation if you can clarify this. Thanks.

And we got this reply (emphasis mine):

Hi Mr. Husband,
> She was late on the 11th. Not including "th's" and other indicators on the
> letters has caused a lot of misunderstandings
- I apologize for the confusion.
> Grace was definitely not late eleven times!
> Best,

According to the Girl, some kids had notes that read:


 Days absent


And there aren't even 23 days of school in a normal month!


*did you notice that properly done genetive preceding the gerund? Sigh. . . .

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