Archive for the 'bad writing' Category

More in the “stupid plagiarism” category

January 17, 2008

It’s funny that people think in the age of the Internet, you can plagiarize and it won’t be noticed. All it takes is one person to notice, and since the blogosphere loves outing plagiarists, you’re done.

So really, all plagiarism these days is pretty stupid. But I think this case deserves special attention:

It all began when a mysterious e-mail arrived in my inbox last week with a link to a romance novel blog, While reviewing a novel by best-selling romance writer Cassie Edwards, the self-proclaimed “smart bitches” had discovered passages that matched, word for word, my ferret story [a scientific piece about endangered ferrets in South Dakota].

In the Internet age, every freelance writer fears that his or her words will be appropriated without compensation. First I was angry. Then I had to laugh. To see my textbook descriptions of ferrets in a bodice-ripper, as dialogue between a hunky American Indian and a lustful pioneer woman who several pages later have sex on a mossy riverbank, is the height of absurdity.

I rushed out to buy a copy of the book. The cover of “Shadow Bear,” $6.99 in paperback, features a shirtless, dark-haired hunk in a loin cloth with a machete strapped to his belt. His abdominal muscles ripple, and wind blows through his long mane.

It goes on. Right after Shadow Bear and his (white–why are they always white) lover go all the way, they hear a noise outside that turns out to be ferrets rooting around.

Shiona then tells Shadow Bear how she once read about ferrets in a book she took from the study of her father. “I discovered they are related to minks and otters. It is said their closest relations are European ferrets and Siberian polecats,” she says. “Researchers theorize that polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska, to establish the New World population.”

Ohmygod that is so hot.

I’m still laughing. Thanks to my dear friend Claire for bringing this to my attention. I have nothing more to add; this is the highlight of my day plain and simple.


Some poorly chosen words

January 10, 2008

Last Friday, Golf Channel announcer Kelly Tilghman joked that Tiger Woods’ opponents should gang up on him and “[l]ynch him in a back alley.”

Let that sink in for a minute.

Tilghman’s apology statement said she “used some poorly chosen words…I have known Tiger for 12 years and I have apologized directly to him. I also apologize to our viewers who may have been offended by my comments.”

Woods has apparently accepted the apology, but this news item really puts what I do here into perspective.

“Poorly chosen words” bore. They can turn potential customers away. A poorly chosen word is one that needs revision or editing or just that final tweak to make an article sing. Tilghman’s comment, I think, goes beyond “poorly chosen” and into the realm of “really stupid.”

Here, “poorly chosen words” are themselves very poorly chosen.

Eggcorns seen on Craigslist

December 14, 2007

free office materials

acorns!!flickr:velo steve

1 clipboard
Avery Multi-Purpose white Labels
Cornell College mini-notebook
10 used vanilla folders ..Please come pick up tonight (Monday) if you can. Thanks.

****Many Items***** MUST SELL
wall scones $5 a pair


How’d my Nano go?

December 3, 2007

Well, not well. But I did keep a journal, of sorts, that explains, at least in part, what it’s like. I’d hate for the journal to be shoved into a dark corner and never see the light of day, so read on:

Read the rest of this entry »


November 30, 2007

How’d YOUR Nanowrimo go?

(I’ll tell you about my trainwreck later.)