Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Frustration is spelled T-H-R-U-H-Z-D-R-A-Y-S-H-U-N

On Saturday I had to pop upstairs in the student union for a band photo-shoot (shudder) and ended up waiting for a bit in 3rd space, an area for just chilling out, maybe working, things like that. It turned out that it was Dino Day, an event organised mostly for kids in honour of the dinosaur statue which was destroyed a couple of months ago. There were pretty girls painting dinosaurs on faces, activities to take part in, pictures to draw, things to make and whatever else you might expect from such a day. How could it go wrong?

Where I was sitting there were word-searches with dinosaur themed words. I chuckled at the fact that they used the American spelling of palaeontologist (spelled paleontologist) and jokingly corrected it. I then noticed that the artwork of a course-mate was on display, so I wandered over to admire them and peruse the other information. I was horrified. Spelling mistakes were rife and factual errors abounded. If I had a pen on me I would have scribbled all over it. I thankfully don't remember what many of the errors were, though spelling Mesozoic as "Mesozaic" is forgiveable, as long as you don't also add "Palaeozaic" and "Cenozaic" as well, which they did! I also cannot fathom how they ended up calling Gallimimus an oviraptor.....

Such lack of care by the student union is surprising, considering many of the mistakes could easily be corrected with a simple spell checker and the use of children's books on dinosaurs. Or they could have made use of the roughly 50 palaeontologists wandering around the university (1 professor, around 3 lecturers, a couple of post-doc researchers on a good day, a couple of doctoral and masters students, plus  around 40 undergrads). If only one had gotten involved then such mistakes would not have been made. *sigh*

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