[Mike is on semi-vacation this week so TOP is on half-speed till Wednesday the 24th.]
I'm sure all of us have had the experience of coming across an article that mentions photographic technical details where it's immediately obvious that the writer doesn't know what he's talking about, sometimes making for a bit of unintentional absurdity. Carl happened across this the other day (I don't want to embarrass the writer of this by identifying the source):
[The photographer's] early use of Kodachrome colour film presented major challenges. The film was hi-res and lifelike, offering brilliant colours with broad tonal range. But it was also expensive to print, since the process involved sending the film to Kodak. Since [the photographer] couldn’t afford that, he had slides made, which more or less denied him access to galleries.
Heh. Carl's wry comment was, "Why did I never think to have my Kodachrome made into slides?"
I should sympathize...I know very well what it's like to not have time to check all the facts in an article.
Reminds me of another little story. I remember in the 1980s offering to correct the English in a now-out-of-business Japanese camera company's literature, which contained many mistakes. The company's reply thanked me, but noted that the brochure writer had received perfect grades in his English classes in school and was therefore just as good at writing English as a native English speaker. :-)
(Thanks to Carl Weese)
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Featured Comments from:
Bahi (partial comment): "Amusing and understandable. I think it's true to say that when a publication—even a top-tier name—commissions a good writer on a subject that readers know extremely well, it's easy to spot the misunderstandings in the resulting piece. The New Yorker and its famous fact checkers might be the exception."
Mike replies: I don't know. I've found some things to object to in some of The New Yorker's sorties into photo-tech.
GKFroehlich (partial comment): "Back when I was in college, I bought a cheap, light-weight, made-in-China tent for backpacking. It was a bear to assemble—many sections of poles, all of differing lengths and curvatures. So I consulted the instructions, and found the section on 'How to Achieve Erection.' Finally stopped laughing long enough to get that bugger ready for use. (By the way, that tent was finally destroyed during a December-to-January camping trip where we were subjected to high winds, thunderstorms, lightning, and even falling trees! 1980-1981: the winter of our discount tent!)"
Frank Hamsher: "I worked for a time as a contract proof-reader for English versions of Japanese software manuals that had been translated as per your quote. As a test of my abilities before working my boss sent me a two paragraph snippet to correct. I sent him back my version and he told me that I had done too good a job. His reasoning? My version would cause the original translator to lose face. He told me that I must strive to make as few corrections as possible otherwise the company would stop sending him work.
"Makes one consider how much cultural differences can an unconscious effect on attempts to communicate. It's never just the words—even in written exchanges!"