Thursday, 16 May 2013

Pedant's revol...ution

I had a bit of a humbling experience at work today.

Having submitted several documents for approval and sign off, I then received a phone call from the Pedant-in-Chief. I knew something was wrong immediately, as he was struggling valiantly to control his mirth. In contrast, dark clouds gathered above my head.

"Oh my giddy aunt!" I thought. "What on Earth have I done?" [this is a pre-watershed, diluted version of the torrent of verbal ditch water that poured through my mind]

"I don't want to appear pedantic..." began my chuckling colleague.

Images of a misplaced comma or a glaring homophonic error rushed across my tortured subconscious.

"No, no, 'pedantic' is the point, " I replied, then continued nervously, "Go on, what is it?"

The gleeful (there was no other word for it) voice instructed me to look at a particular page on the submitted pdfs, specifically the .pdf rather than the .doc file. My tormentor was pretty sure that the .doc file would be ok and had correctly guessed that after converting to pdf, I wouldn't have thought to proofread again.

Puzzled, I did as instructed and found to my horror that the drawings within the documents had been rotated around the vertical axis so that the text was mirrored.


Sure enough, the originals in Word were fine. Doh!

Fortunately, my inquisitor turned saviour and offered to solve the problem for me, which is probably more than I deserved.

The episode was made all the more poignant as, earlier in the week, I had a ground out a reasonable score in an online grammar quiz on the BBC News website.

Choose any one from the following statements:

1. Oh, how the mighty are fallen.

2. Pride cometh before a fall.

3. Tense, you're a pillock.

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