An Engine Room regular has suggested that Apus and I are a little too critical of the writers we work with. By way of apology, I'd like to share an anecdote showing that sub-editors are fallible too.
I was checking a page proof when I came across the sentence: "The licence was lost by Mr Meats Wholesale" - 'Mr Meats Wholesale' of course being the name of a wholesaler. However I read it as the name of a person: first name Meats, surname Wholesale.
As a result I was left wondering why Apus, who I knew had subbed the copy, had used 'Mr' before this person's name, as it isn't our house style to use titles.
Eventually I reached the conclusion that 'Meats Wholesale' could be the name of either a man or a woman, and therefore the 'Mr' was necessary to indicate the gender of this person called Meat. Well, it made sense to me...
The ambiguous Oxford comma
6 days ago