I’ve been editing a piece of non-fiction recently and it’s a behemoth of awful language. Pages and pages of sentences that have been both cobbled together from mismatching sources and written by people who have an interesting take on both grammar and, well, making sense.
The following sentence isn’t from the document, but when I saw it on a major newspaper’s site today I wondered if they’d hired the author/s of my document, because it’s exactly the gibberish that is making my eyeballs bleed:
The sheep had never been near humans for several years at least, by some estimates.
If you just felt a strong urge to stab something… welcome to my current world. Apparently, we can’t publish a newspaper that makes sense anymore either, so maybe I’m just old-fashioned? I mean, hey, you can understand what they’re trying to say, right?
100+ A4 pages of “well I kind of get what they mean, but…” STAB STAB STAB. *deep breath*
What’s worse in the case of my franken-doc, is people pay to read it. How is it possible that no one has complained to the people who maintain the document? I guess it goes back to the point above; they can understand the gist, so they don’t notice the language. Or something.
On a happy note, I have to say I am getting a sick pleasure from chopping the hell out of this thing (did I mention it incessantly repeats itself?). Seeing the word count shrink is far more satisfying than decency allows!