Sunday, December 19, 2010

Episode 818: Seriously, Ceriph?

Read Issue One of Ceriph today, which is published quarterly by BooksActually's Math Paper Press. The production values are more than decent for a project so young. Unfortunately, while the quality of the writing contained therein has unquestionably gone up from Issue Zero, there remain troublingly glaring grammatical and typographical errors in several of the pieces that have left me wondering if they're down to editorial laxity or ineptitude. We're talking mixing of tenses for no discernable purpose, subject-verb disagreement, a repeated sentence fragment that looks like it was meant to be deleted. Basically, it's the same sort of problem I had with Lazy Gramophone's website, but with less impressive work being showcased. The occasional mistake is excusable. When a pattern begins to emerge, I want to know how attentively the editors are reading the submissions they receive. The faults are all the more damning because people pay to own copies of Ceriph. I'm all for supporting new writers and local literature, but if I'm shelling out more than $10 per issue, the least I expect is not to feel my intelligence being insulted as I read. It's not even about being a grammar Nazi, as all the errors I noted had nothing ambiguous about them. They were the sort of thing anyone who presumes to edit an English-language literary magazine ought to be able to pick out and correct before letting the issue go to print! On a side note, I hate biographies that try to sound whimsical. I'm willing to concede the line between flippancy and humour is easily crossed, but coming across as twee definitely isn't.

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