Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Virgina experience

I'm sure you've all read or heard about the Great NIT Typo by now. If not, here's the gaffe, along with my mark-up:
Just what West Virginia needs: Another piece of evidence that we're poorly educated rednecks who care more about our trucks, guns, dogs and moonshine than whether we can spell!

Thanks to Lori for sending the photo. I think.

In WVU's defense, I read in one account that the NIT was responsible for printing the shirts. Whew! The NIT could not be contacted for confirmation. I probably wouldn't answer my phone, either, under the circumstances.

One of my favorite jobs, when I lived in Ohio, was as a typesetter for Columbus Monthly Magazine. Typesetting back then – you know, in Gutenberg's time – was accomplished by keyboarding from typewritten or, sometimes, handwritten copy on a machine dedicated to spitting out long pieces of specially coated paper. The paste-up artist would then slice the paper in columns to fit the page layout, run it through a waxing machine and put it all together, along with whatever art was to accompany the story.

Sounds like kindergarten, doesn't it? I eventually became a very good proofreader and copy editor, just by setting type. Our editor would read every word, mark up the errors – some were writers' grammar goofs, and some were my typographical misstrokes – and send it back. The machine was sophisticated enough that it could actually save the original file. Imagine that! All I had to do was make corrections and changes. I didn't have to keyboard the entire story a second or, occasionally, third time.

If the page designer wanted the type to fit around a photo or illustration, it had to be reset yet again. I didn't mind at all. I loved the whole process. It was a wonderful introduction to graphic design, and they paid me!

I just realized that nothing I've written so far has anything whatsoever to do with health, fitness, weight loss, exercise or half-marathons. But it was a nice little trip down memory lane. For me, anyway. So to tie it all together, don't those basketball players look fit? Check out those biceps! Just a few more curls and mine will look that good, too. And so will yours!

[It is pouring down rain right now. I don't think we've had such a hard and steady rain since last summer. I'm supposed to do a long-ish run today – this is an easy week, remember – and I just checked the hour-by-hour forecast at Not looking good. I wonder: Do they ever cancel half-marathons due to rain?]

Four weeks until race day!


Anne M. said...

You have a gift for grabbing my attention with your words, whether they are about weight loss/food issues/exercise or not. Our lives are about more than what we eat and how far we run.

I enjoyed learning about your typesetting job in Ohio and the things you learned. You are a very interesting person!

Lori said...

I agree with Anne, I found all of this fascinating. It reminded me of "My Sister Eileen" when she worked as a typesetter (as a young girl).

I think you probably could write a book about your adventures. You're such a good writer!

Mary Christine said...

You are a good writer on any number of topics! 4 weeks! Yikes.

Anne M. said...

Update on the T-shirt uproar: last night on the news up in Boston, they showcased the snafu and the apology made by the CT company that produced them. I might not have paid attention but after seeing it here, it caught my eye :)