Small things which have mildly annoyed me today

1. The use of the phrase “From whence…” in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. From where, or whence. Not an illiterate combination of the two. It irritates me when highly-praised books have small and obvious errors in them (though so far I’m afraid I’m also failing to see why this one has had any praise at all. It’s all very well having a fantastic story to tell, but – call me old-fashioned – I still think that for it to be a success you also need to be able to write).

2. A mockup of a web page in which the designer had used the following sample text:

Lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum lorem ipsum

Lorem ipsum is a nonsense language which you use when you’re designing web (or printed) pages so that you can see how they will look with text in them. The WHOLE POINT is that it replicates the effect of actual words, because it contains strings of different lengths. Google it and you’ll find it’s freely and abundantly available on the internet. It looks like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam pretium magna at odio. Praesent velit. Fusce accumsan turpis. Mauris orci turpis, fringilla vitae, blandit nec, tempus sed, nisi. Sed vitae ligula.

In the example above all the designer has done is demonstrate that he has no idea what he’s doing. I admit that this might annoy me less if he were someone whom I thought had any idea what he was doing the rest of the time.

One day, when I am in charge of the internet and all book publishing, everything will work better. In the meantime I will stoically continue to correct errors of omission, oversight and stupidity, free of charge. You’re welcome.

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