Tuesday, March 22, 2005

[Insert sound of Jim banging head against wall here]

I'm the copy chief for a business-technology magazine that shall remain nameless.

Yesterday, while editing some copy, I found this little nugget in a chart:

What factors or potential benefits are driving deployment of radio-frequency identification*?

16% Protection against counter-fitting

I immediately assumed that "counter-fitting" was some piece of jargon that I hadn't yet run across.

But I just realized that whoever wrote this meant "counterfeiting." A writer, an editor, and at least two researchers read over this text before it reached my desk.

Pardon me a moment while I go weep.

*RFID: those chips that retailers are putting on products in order to track inventory, and the government will soon be inserting under your armpit to track your every move and read your thoughts, unless you wear a shiny hat made out of aluminum foil.



Ron Southern said...

I too momentarily assumed that counter-fitting was some new thing you were about to explain to me. Alas, it was just another standard word with substandard spelling produced by a careless person. I've seen those "forgiveness clauses" in some blog, forgiving people in advance for misspelling everything in the comments they leave. I'll forgive people for not spelling very well once or twice a week. If it looks like it's really just a typographical error, that's okay. But if you misspell words repeatedly even when we have spell check progams, you ought to recognize that you are a very lazy writer. If readers have to keep Guessing what you mean, is that really cool? I don't even think it's respectable.

CG said...

I two have a big problem with people that doesn't use good grammer or speling.

Your a good guy to take those mistakes than correct them.

Me respect you much.

Will said...

Isn't it possible, Jim, that "counter-fitting" correctly describes the act of fitting a counter?" Isn't it possible that the writer is describing the tracking device for wayward Home Depot employees who break into homes to fit counters? Isn't it possible?

Talley said...

that's hysterical, JDD!

I've been tracking stuff like this, amused to no end (or "amused no-end"?) by the possibilities of alternate meanings.

My current fave: "moving whoas"--instead of "woes."

What a great idea--when tough times hit, people are going "whoa!" with all the enthusiasm that command normally summons, instead of lamenting helplessly "woe is me!"

So what could it mean--counter, as in "against, or in an opposite direction"? fitting, as in preparing things for use? preparing things for their opposite use (making money for someone other than their creator?)

Kinda fun!

Jim Donahue said...

Talley: Copy editrix extraordinaire.