Clear and to the Point

4 March, 2009

Remember the sanity check!

Filed under: technical communication — monado @ 23:24
Tags: , , ,

There will always be mistakes in everything that we do. Murphy’s Law pretty much guarantees that when you get a new book back from the printer and open it at random, there will be a mistake on the first page you look at.

One of the ways in which we try to foil Murphy is to make the last task before committing to production a “sanity check.” That’s one last look over the whole thing for errors that might have been missed. Here is where you look to make sure that headings, page numbers, captions, and titles are complete and correct. Or titles, links, and code. It’s a form of editing. Look for blanks, place-fillers, and queries that have been overlooked. I have seen typographical errors 30 points high and published material with “Fred to fill in” and web topics labelled “Subhead here.” So give everything one last scan.

I think a quick scan might have caught this rather cute and inconsequential error from Galaxy Zoo, one of my favourite sites. There you can take part in the scientific endeavour to classify thousands of new galaxies. They’ve started a blog and the blog features the top ten favourite galaxies.

This is number eight:spiral galaxy

And this is number three:

spiral galaxy

It seems familiar somehow, doesn’t it?

Murphy strikes again!

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