Sunday, January 27, 2008

Newsarama Is Bad And Matt Brady Should Feel Bad, Part 4: In Which Errors Do Not Lead To Comedy

I don't have a spiffy, multi-level rhetorical intro for this one, so I'll just jump into the deep end of the pool: Nobody fucking copy edits *anything* at Newsarama.

I am, as you might have guessed, an anal-retentive when it comes to spelling and grammar. Yesterday, when I realized I'd forgotten to finish a sentence in the last post? Cutting. Okay, that's not true, but it's a pretty good metaphor for the way I felt about it. See, I don't exempt myself from my high standards, or merciless beatings for failing to meet them.

But enough about me. This is about how much Newsarama sucks. And one reason Newsarama sucks is that they don't bother to do the most basic task of professional writing. Everybody fucks up in the first draft, but people who have, y'know, a work ethic go back through what they've written and fix the mistakes. Dangling participles, subject/verb agreement, their/they're/there, all that good stuff that separates the men from the 13-year-old girls. (By the way, whoever it is who did that webcomic where the girl who says "IDK, my BFF Jill" gets bitch-slapped is one of my linguistic heroes. Say it in English, bitch!)

They also check their facts to make sure they're actually factual. A small portion of my mind went berserk on Monday, when Rich Johnston posted a link to this little fooferaw. Seems Graeme McMillan made a post on the Newsarama blog (a phrase that chills my very blood) about how long Amazing Spider-Man would have to run on its current thrice-monthly schedule to reach issue 1000 before Action Comics. McMillan quoted an (unattributed; yet another thing actual journalists don't do) assertion that Action has had an uninterrupted run since 1938. Dan Slott, rather graciously ignoring the fact that McMillan misspelled "that" and "passion" in his original post, and that he couldn't be bothered to take five seconds to find out what issue Action Comics is currently on, and pointed out that it (a) went weekly for a period in the late-eighties, and (b) went on hiatus briefly between "Funeral for a Friend" and "Reign of the Supermen." Apparently, this was some sort of Internet faux pas, as McMillan and the commenters spent the rest of the day tearing Slott a new one for the terrible crime of expecting a person to have his facts straight. (In an interesting postscript, Matt Brady later claimed that at least one post, now deleted, was made by someone pretending to be Slott. Which, of course, did nothing to quell the flames.)

But I guess we're supposed to excuse bloggers from actually behaving professionally, so boobies fuck ass cunt dildo vagina. Er, I mean, let's take a look at some material from the actual site, shall we? All of the following is currently from articles on the front page:

"The reason for this is two of the planned episode, “The Huey Freeman Hunger Strike” and “The Ruckus Reality Show” have been pulled." (singular "episode" where there should be plural "episodes"

"exemplifying what Chuck D’s statement that the networks letters really stand for the “booty ‘en thugs” network." (extraneous "what" muddles grammar, "'en" for "'n")

"Further inquiries to McGruder, BET and Cartoon Network were sent, with only CN Sr. VP of Public Relations James Anderson responding, to whit: “The episodes are not scheduled to air on Adult Swim. Beyond that, we really don’t have any further comment.”" (passive voice, misspelled "to wit")

"In the meantime, the question now is if [AS] won’t air the episodes, will they eventually appear in the upcoming second season DVD set, which is slated for release this spring." (lacks needed comma or colon, question mark)

"Hey, you know, after weeks of the Monitor Solomon kinda acting like he was on cold medicine while going through his master plan, the bald dude brought it around and showed some savvy this week in Countdown to Final Crisis #14 in that Superman Prime wanted to know where his prefect earth was." (improper conjunction "in that", misspelled "perfect")

"Jason put on the Red Robin costume, and took the identidy he’s been promised to have since the first Countdown teaser poster" (misspelled "identity")

"Monitor-51 got really angry at everyone invading his earth, and Superman Prime found Monarch and was all like, “Hey homes – you better not be messin up my joint,” and Monarch was all, “Oh, I am so messin up your joint” and then Superman Prime was like “ORLY?” and Monarch was like “RLY” and Superman Prime said “Bring it.”" (no apostrophe after "messin", entire passage pissed me off on general principles)

"I know the writer's strike and then the pending actor's strike has kind of put a wrench in everything, production wise." (singular possessive "writer's" and "actor's" instead of "writers'" and "actors'", and it being a quote doesn't excuse this)

"With Cyclops taking the reigns of the work that Charles Xavier, Cyclops looks to carry on the legacy." ("reigns" should be "reins", sentence reads like it was written by a retard)

"Spring saw series 2 figures debut, and it was a step up aesthetically with Thor being arguably the best of the bunch. Avengers fans had to be pleased as this series also featured good versions of She-Hulk, Yellowjacket and Quicksilver in his classic costume (though the green-variant costume proved very elusive). And then...nothing." (missing two necessary commas, lacks proper spacing around ellipsis, phrase "very elusive" is inane)

"Although Mattel promised more three-packs in 2007, it was just before the New Year that the company released more sets with the most anticipated set featuring first-time figures of both Fire and Ice along with a re-release of Green Lantern John Stewart. Single packs of re-released figures including Blue Devil, are also finding their way to the shelves." (missing more necessary commas, article is several thousand words about fucking toys)

"Continuing the new title showcase by Archaia Studios Press (ASP) where we get sneak peeks of new titles for 2008. We offer you a glimpse of a few finished pages and a few character sketches." (sentence fragment; yes, I have seen the "Linguo" episode of "The Simpsons")

"But what about David Gallaher and Steve Ellis’ High Moon, which won the first round of competition in November and new strips should have continued to be serialized on ZudaComics.com?" (makes my goddamn eyes bleed with the non-grammar)

I'm getting depressed, so I'll stop now. But I feel it meet to point out that I neither got halfway down the page, nor touched the sidebar. The frequent journalistic interjection of "sic" has never been so apropos.

Jesus frog-jumping Christ. How can anyone, anywhere, anytime, consider this acceptable for print? And no, fuck you, "It's just the Internet" is not a goddamn excuse. Rules of grammar and spelling exist for a reason: to facilitate communication between individuals and groups. Good communication is the cornerstone of society. Without it, we're monkeys with hammers.

Beyond which, it's just plain fucking sloppy. As my first grade teacher vainly tried to bludgeon into my head during penmanship lessons, neatness counts. Anyone who takes the barest modicum of pride in what they do takes the effort not to look or sound like a fucking moron when they do it. It's how we separate the professionals from the amateurs, the performers from the geek show, the crunchy chocolate cookie from the delicious crème center. (Sorry. I really want some Oreos right now.)

There are any number of other hoary old clichés I could tread out (in fact, I think the phrase "hoary old cliché" is itself a cliché), but I trust my point has been made. Even in the context of Newsarama's other, numerous sins, this is just unacceptable. If one is going to fuck journalism in the ass, one can at least do it the common courtesy of providing the metaphorical reach-around of using proper English while doing so. It's only civilized.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"In an interesting postscript, Matt Brady later claimed that at least one post, now deleted, was made by someone pretending to be Slott."

That wasn't Matt Brady; he didn't appear anywhere in that thread.

ReiMehari said...

Great stuff. So much anger, and rightfully so.

"It was the All-Spin Zone, a weekly clusterfuck of hype, self-aggrandizement, and fanboy fellatio that makes Barbara Walters look like Bob Woodward"

Classic.

Anonymous said...

Dan Slott, rather graciously ignoring the fact that McMillan misspelled "that" and "passion" in his original post, and that he couldn't be bothered to take five seconds to find out what issue Action Comics is currently on, and pointed out that it (a) went weekly for a period in the late-eighties, and (b) went on hiatus briefly between "Funeral for a Friend" and "Reign of the Supermen."