Are editors and proofreaders still a thing?

Well, it’s more desktop publishing than typesetting.

I figured, based on the context of the post you quoted, that the “SM” stood for “style manual” and the “F” for “Field” or another proper name. I remember “Flying Spaghetti Monster” being common about twenty years ago, but it had been years since I last saw such a reference until I started reading this thread.

I generally agree with your suggestion to write out the meanings of acronyms/initialisms on first reference, but context must be considered – does a sportswriter really need to say something like “the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) owes a debt to the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN)”?

I agree that context must be considered - ESPN and NCAA strike me as being closer to “laser” or “radar” than to “FSM”. I’m not at all sure there is anyone who would understand "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network " but not “ESPN” - and I’m sure a lot of people would understand “ESPN” but have no idea where it came from.

I was in journalism and publishing for decades and I would never had understood FSM.

A tangent, but book editing is often done by freelancers who are paid poorly and so must work very quickly and move to the next project to make a living. This leads to mistakes

What does this word mean?!

You’re right. That is exactly as difficult to understand as IGZ.

If you’re just trying to be funny then fine. No biggie but I must point out it’s a very tired sort of joke.

If, on the other hand, you are trying to imply that my typo (‘wannted’ for ‘want’) is equivalent to folks using random 3 or 4 letter initialisms in their posts… well, I have to disagree.

My earlier example, ‘FSM’? Pretty obvious to most of us here, right? ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’. So maybe he didn’t need to spell it out. But the thing is, on further review it turns out he meant something else which elegantly (IMHHHHO) supports my point.

Can you please write out what this stands for? I’m lost.

Ok. Either I’m being whooshed or you are behaving in a manner that is best diagnosed and commented on in another Forum.

IMHO = In my humble opinion

I could guess that IMHHO was “in my honest, humble opinion”, but 4 'H’s? I’ve not seen that in my reading before, and I doubt it’s common, but a cite from you showing it in common use would be persuasive.

…and I’m going to go with the latter. Good day!

ETA: PLease see 74westy’s post 87:

My advisor and I “made up” a new TLA when teaching a class decades ago. I guess it did not stick: “LIU” for “look it up!”

4H means someone is raising barnyard animals, right?

What is all this about Finite State Machines?

A huge problem is auto-correct and grammar checking. I just noticed in a post I made just out of the edit window that ill had been changed to I’ll.

No doubt many publications have become dependent on technological crutches to replace skill. Another casualty is style in prose. Grammar checkers force prose to a common bland style more suited to a corporate communication.

The reply to Giles Coren above is a brilliant case in point. Giles probably didn’t even have the wit to recognise the mastery of form it contains. No AI is able to cope with that.

Or vegetables or fruit or canning or repairing cars . . .

I just assumed it was a very humble opinion.

The same stories are quite on the website; they loaded into the same Content Management System and timed to go live after the paper has published.

Even the stories not going online are still written as if they are - written into the CMS and filed, onto the next thing.

Newspapers and other printed news outlets are dying out which is horribly sad news for those few among us who still seek the truth in reporting.
Contrary to what you hear people who have things they want to hide say, the media, or the press, is not the enemy of the people, The people who say the media or press is the enemy of the people are the actual real enemies of the people because they convince the people to then ignore the truth being reported in real newspapers, not shit like the National Inquirer, that’s not a newspaper, that’s entertainment sorta like the Onion, but they pretend to be real while the Onion wants us to know they are entertainment that makes fun of the reality of our ever increasingly insane world.

What many don’t understand is that the media, newspapers in particular, are crucial to the survival of our democracy and freedom worldwide. They are so crucial, our founding fathers wrote them into the constitution within the First Amendment because it is the job of the press to keep the people well informed of details of the workings of government and our elected or appointed officials at every level.

Without the press, newspapers in particular who are the only members of media who have/had the resources in which to conduct in depth, long and short term research and investigations needed to keep the people thoroughly and accurately informed of the things that make our democracy work day in and day out because papers have traditionally maintained enough reporters, photographers and editors to do that job as vigorously as needed.
TV and radio, with a very few exceptions such as 60 Minutes, have never even attempted to cover anything as thoroughly as a newspaper can. They have a few reporters, a few less videographers and they present a brief summary of the day’s news, weather and sports during a total of 30 minutes, of which nearly half that is eaten up by paid commercial advertising, so they have no way to present all the information the people need to stay properly informed even if they had the staff resources to do so.

To your question of editor and the editing, where mistakes are removed prior to publication is actually referred to in the newsroom as proof reading.

The best papers, like the NY Times, Washington Post and a hand full of others which used to include the one I worked for over 28 years as a photojournalist, The Louisville Courier-Journal, have, or had multiple layers of editing and proof reading to eliminate the chance of an error slipping through to appear in print.

That was always a thing we took great pride in, our record of accuracy down to the correct dotting of every i and crossing of every t in every newspaper we put out.

But then, in the case of the great investigative newspaper where I spent my career and with a lot of papers across America, during what I refer to as the peak of the golden era of journalism, the late 70s and through the 80s, big corporations swept across the country buying up newspapers not to continue them to be the watchdog they had always been that protects our democracy, they bought them all because most everyone got a newspaper everyday to stay informed.

That meant newspapers were as profitable if not more than they’d ever been because the more people who buy and read your paper, the more you can charge companies to advertise in your newspaper.

That’s the only thing the corporations sought when they gobbled up nearly every formally family owned paper. And before the ink was even dry on the checks written to buy all the papers, the corporate owners began butchering the papers of staff to increase their profits even more so they can buy more papers to butcher and rake in the revenue from advertising.

That’s when all the layers that each newsroom had to make sure no errors ever made it to print began to be reduced from 5 or 6 to 2, 2 1/2 or 3 people who carefully read through every word before it was printed and delivered.

That’s when we began to see a few mistakes pop out at us when we’d notice an obvious error like the front page story where the name of the city where our newspaper was located was misspelled in the headline for God’s sake.

But then along came the cordless smart phone, cable TV was being strung to every home everywhere, poor and working class wages had stopped keeping pace with inflation since Reaganomics were implemented that advised companies that workers are a replaceable part of a company and the loyalty shown to workers was unnecessary and when eliminated corporate profits rose but the old adage of “job security” was a thing of the past.

Then along comes the Great Recession that slammed newspapers hard as advertisers stopped paying for adds because buyers stopped buying. After the recession much of those former ad dollars shifted to online advertising which wiped some newspapers out and they went out of business.

The ones that remain are struggling, cutting staff to the bone and those layers of proof readers are down to 2 and even 1 on some situations at the majority of papers.

It’s gotten so bad, one forth of the newspapers in America are now gone. Others are having to sell the buildings they have occupied that were community landmarks, sold to keep the papers afloat a while longer as a much smaller staff rents office space and pays printing companies to print the tiny papers that were big enough to use as a blanket, now they’re the size of dinner napkins.

So yeah, with the glory days of newspapers and in depth journalism being all but gone, those still printing are doing so with far fewer people who are paid far less than during my time and it’s sad and frightening to see, especially when our democracy is under attack by corrupt politicians in Washington and Florida seeking to destroy democracy so they can rule by force instead of by majority rule provided by elections.

When your leaders begin declaring elections and our press to be fake or enemies, this is when we need a strong press the most to inform the people of exactly what is being done to them and the future for all of us, by a few who’s goal is to take over control regardless of who we the people may vote in to lead us in 2024.

Numerous state legislatures are enacting changes that will allow them to override the decisions of the people to put in the man who wants to be like the dictators in the world that he is so envious of.

If he is successful next time, it will be more horrible than any of us can imagine, especially for those who help bring him to power when they see what they’ve done to us all and our once great nation.

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