Steve’s Hall of Shame:* Twice-told tales, part 2

The text in the plain paragraph looks similar to that in the first list item introduced by a bullet. In fact, it’s identical. These are in an article about the choices for extending Virginia Railway Express commuter train service to Haymarket, Virginia (“VRE Continues to Advance the Gainesville-Haymarket Extension,” Ride Magazine, June 2016). The first choice is printed twice. Maybe that’s what planners call the preferred alternative.

Don’t let this happen to you: If you’re a writer, read what you’ve written! If you’re an editor, read the text after you’ve edited it. Even in my casual reading of this article, I noticed the repetition. I see a lot of writing that obviously was not read by the writer after it was supposedly finished. If the title of an article is “Insert title here” (and I’ve seen that too many times!) it’s certain that the writer didn’t read the whole thing after writing it. Likewise, I and all you other editors make mistakes. We miss things or introduce errors. Reading what you’ve edited is an essential step.

* “Steve’s Hall of Shame” is what one writer called my collection of bloopers. I decided to keep the name.


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