Yesterday, my friend and collegue, Rob Slade, noted that …
Idly leafing through yet another IT executive rag (preparatory to recycling it),
and noticed an article on privacy by the head of a data destruction company. He
was talking about the problem of “data reminisce.”
Well, it may not have been the author at fault.
We’ve criticized journalists for lacking knowledge of various technical professions and so mangling and misinterpreting reports, but what about typesetters? And editors?
Some people on mailing lists I subscribe to have the advantage that they publish in academic or technical journals where the author’s words are treated more literally. than in the mainstream. I’ve just seen (and forwarded to some) a report from Forrester intended for management that
uses short words but the main noun (“NAC” if you’re really concerned) could be replaced by something else, be it “wind farms“, “stem cells” or “time machines”) with no other changes. Such content neutral writing ismore likely to get past the editor and typesetter unchanged since it uses no obscure words or words that have a technical meaning but can be mistake for another English word.
There is a reason many journalists use clichï¿½s. They can guarantee the typesetters will set them correctly.
You don’t really think that management rags will just forward the submission from the author to the typesetting software without review or editing, do you? The purpose of the rags is to sell advertising. The articles just have to fit in the space that’s left, and probably need a
lot of editing to make them fit. This is one of the differences between academic publications and the world of commercial magazines.
Oh, and I count things like the ISSA and ISACA journals in with professional publications. Adverts there are to subsidise. I’m hoping that now the ISSA Journal has gone all electronic we will see fewer adverts!
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