I didn’t realize, however, what a huge boulder I would be rolling uphill — what with my being a “literary person,” a sometime editor of this column, someone whose ear is as tuned to the pitch of language as a cellist’s is to music — until the misplaced modifiers, dyslexic spellings and grievous abuses of syntax started pouring in. One seeker of a woman to call his own allowed that the last book he had read was “Atonement,” which was about to earn him a gold star, Ian McEwan having his own section on my bookshelves, except that he didn’t quit while he was ahead — he had to add that it was written by . . . Ian McGregor! O.K., no big deal, you say, they’re both Brits, it’s hard to keep all the Ians (or, um, Ewans!) straight, you know what/whom he meant and at least he reads something besides Gawker. Well, yeah, but couldn’t he have malapropriated a lesser writer’s name, one whose first and last aren’t tattooed on my forehead, one not sitting on a pedestal in front of my computer? Couldn’t he have checked his sources?
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I'm at the age where I can count my single female friends one hand, and we have all tried online dating. One meticulous friend has just launched herself into the cyber-abyss and often seeks my war-weary advice. She has written, revised, spell-checked, and double-checked her profile to include her interests and passions: each word carefully chosen, each comma properly placed. And yet she receives emails that show no evidence of having read said profile...or of even knowing how to spell "profile." Are we picky? Are we alone? Apparently not, thank goodness. From Jaime Epstein's "Sentence Sensibility" in the New York Times: