Typo of the week: trading on toes

I'm fairly relaxed about people making spelling mistakes in everyday life – mainly because I do it too – but I have less tolerance for people littering their CV (or résumé, if you prefer) with errors.

After all, you never know whether the person reading it and considering you for a job is a stickler for correct spelling. One prominent typo could cost you that dream position.

And if it is important to ensure an error-free CV, surely that holds especially true for subs (or copy editors, if you prefer).

So imagine my amusement when the production desk here received a CV from a freelance sub that contained the following in its opening sentence:

I don't want to be trading on writers' toes

A brilliant mental image, if nothing else...


TootsNYC said...

S'pose that's a typo, or an eggcorn?

I know what you mean about copyeditors' (subeditors') resumés.

It's bad enough to worry about whether you've just got a plain typo, but for us, we also demonstrate our style choices (as w/ "resumé," intended to straddle the French accent pattern and the modern English trend of not using them), and worry if we've abbreviated "Street" on both your resumé AND cover letter.

For many years, I've refused to call in for an interview anyone who did not properly reproduce the name of that popular publishing software program QuarkXPress. And found that I had almost no one to interview, no matter how great the other aspects of their resume looked.

I once bucked my boss's recommendation that I shouldn't interview someone because he had supervised copyeditors, not done the work himself. I called him in anyway because he did some pretty sophisticated punctuation, perfectly parallel.

And he was one of the best hires I've ever made! (as well as being a great guy, over at TheVelvetBlog, here at blogspot)

Anonymous said...

It's as though you read my mind, JD. We've just been interviewing for an editorial position at my office, and another editor and I had quite a time finding a resume that did not have a typo in it! Plus, you should have heard us: "Oh, observe this unparallel bullet structure here" and "my goodness, check out the inconsistency in the application of em dashes there" etc etc.

We give an editing test to our candidates and my fellow editor suggested that we should give the candidates back their own resumes to proofread. She was joking . . . sort of.

Jacqueline said...

Cute feet!

JD (The Engine Room) said...

Tootsnc: I'm guessing it's a typo rather than an eggcorn, because it's such a well-known phrase – but really, who knows?

MRP: Myself, I've never been trusted with any sort of recruiting responsibility. But it does sound fun. What sort of editorial position are you looking to fill? (Not that I'm interested, of course – have to say that in case Windy is reading this...)

Jacqueline: they're not my feet! I got the picture from Morguefile, and the photographer said they weren't his feet either. What makes one pair of feet cuter than another? Actually, don't answer that...

TootsNYC said...

It's also a really easily done typo.

Just don't hit the "e" key hard enough.

JD (The Engine Room) said...

It's also a mistake that the spellchecker won't pick up... don't rely on spellcheckers!

Anonymous said...

Last time I was gathering CVs for a vancancy I was given one that had the following in the hobbies and interests section: "I've been dancing since I was six years old". Got to be tired by now, right?