28 thoughts on “When Editing Goes Awry

    1. Exactly. And if you look closely, you can see that “New” has been changed to “Old.” That may be simple recycling, but the spelling clearly was an attempt at a correction.

      Although I found it amusing, I also found it a bit touching. Even though someone got it wrong, they clearly wanted to get it right.

        1. Here’s a diagram of the cemetery locations.

          Since the City of Galveston’s responsible for both the Old City and New City cemeteries (as well as two others of the seven) I can imagine city workers repurposing a sign. The Old Cemetery sign is on the edge of the cemetery nearest Broadway, right at the sidewalk, so it’s entirely possible a sign was damaged or vandalized and needed to be replaced.

    1. Believe me, I made a visit to the dictionary before I posted. Isn’t it funny how we think we know how to spell a word, then see it spelled differently, and suddenly are uncertain?

      When I was young, there was a brief period when I was sure the word was “cementary.”

      1. A cementary seems quite appropriate considering the amount of cement one finds in a cemetery. Perhaps the sign writer was thinking of stationery and stationary where stationery with an e relates to a pen and stationary with an a relates to a car going nowhere. Similarly in a cemetery the occupants are not going anywhere so they are like stationary cars, therefore it’s cemetary. Well that’s a bit of nonsense from me! Oh, you may enjoy this sign from one of our cemeteries; hope the link works. https://www.facebook.com/UnderOverArch/photos/a.435430393185216.101177.433912456670343/1421577961237116/?type=3&theater

        1. There’s nothing like a little nonsense to start the day, Gallivanta, and the hand-written note on the sign is hilarious. It reminds me of a long-ago experience in San Antonio. A funeral procession I was a part of was entering the cemetery when we spotted the sign: “NO Planting Without Permission!” We had a hard time composing ourselves before we had to step out of the car.

          As for “cementaries,” the word would be appropriate where graves are covered by concrete slabs, as they often are in Louisiana. I did a little search, but still don’t know whether the slabs are simply a less-expensive option, or whether there’s something about the land that makes them necessary.

          That’s a clever way to distinguish between “stationary” and “stationery.” I wish I’d known it years ago.

  1. A good find, Linda and a funny one at that. I am amused. For what’s it’s worth, I like very old cemeteries. They often have beautiful tomb stones. I’ve photographed a few here in my town.

    1. I like old cemeteries, too. You can learn a lot about an area’s history in one, and the symbolism of the stones is wonderful. One of my favorites still is Showman’s Rest, the circus performers’ cemetery in Oklahoma, although the tree-trunk markers of the Woodmen of the World members are neat.

      You might think about sharing some of those photos you’ve taken one day. It would be fun to see them.

      1. Those photos were taken with my SLR Canon and a Konica. I w0uld need to have them all copied and not sure if I have the endurance and time to hunt for them. Currently knee deep in Medicaid stuff for my sis.

        1. Oh, my. Dealing with Medicare or Medicaid — any health insurance paperwork, really — is a chore. And, so is finding and scanning photos. I’ve been thinking about doing a couple of posts that would require scanning some old photos, and even though it seems like a good idea, I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  2. That’s a great sign! :) I like Gallivanta’s take on this. With all the zombie movies around, we want the reassurance of stationary & cemented facilities. Not far from my house, we used to have a great rusty old sign, with reflective marbles in it, where the public street turned into a lane in a cemetery, that just said “Dead-Stop-End”

    1. The only Zombies I ever paid attention to were the British group from the 60s — you might remember this one. What’s funny is that I found another video of the group, now well-aged, performing the same song at SXSW in 2013. I was so embarassed for them, I decided not even to post it. Let’s just say they were living up to their name. They weren’t dead, but they should have stopped. The End.

  3. Very good. Yes, there are words that I still can’t spell (or I doubt myself) on the first try. Lavender, occurred, stationery… Hey, I did those all correctly (depending on which use of the third word I meant!)

    Thanks for posting.

    1. One of yours is one of mine: occurred. I so often double consonants that shouldn’t be doubled, or only use one where there ought to be a pair. That may be why I had some sympathy for the sign painter. I know the feeling of working to be sure I get it just right — until I discover I haven’t!

      Let’s not even think about all the American/British English complications.

  4. I love sign typos. After eons of proofreading, things still get by! (There was once a New Yorker cartoon called “Proofreaders at Lunch” which showed a group at a restaurant picking apart the menu. I can’t tell you how many times my communications colleagues and I did the same!

    1. I thought you’d enjoy this one. And New Yorker cartoons are the best. Even the caption “Proofreaders at Lunch” made me smile. There wasn’t any need to see the cartoon itself. You did remind me of another one I plucked from the magazine years ago. I still laugh every time I come across it.

  5. Well done, my eagle-eyed friend! I routinely spot errors in our local newspaper (years of being a journalist are to blame, I guess). I’ve heard of folks taking a red pen, circling the errors, and sending them back to the editor, but perhaps that’s overkill — unless you’re actually looking for a proof-reading job, ha!

    1. Oh, my — sending red-penciled errors back to the editor seems a little harsh. I always appreciate emails from people who spot my errors, but that’s different, and it does help to keep me on my toes.
      What I loved about this one was the obvious intent of the sign-maker to correct an error. Even though it ended up wrong, someone wanted it right, and that’s a lot better than just not caring.

  6. I noticed that Old was written over New as well and wondered if the cemetery was New when the sign was placed. Certainly brings curiosity over where the sign came from or why it was altered.

    I enjoy old cemeteries also and love the old headstones with character and as in Atlanta where Civil War soldiers are buried and all that history all over the place. I once attended a tour of the oldest cemetery in Miami led by a historian on, yep, Halloween. I realized then that if you want the historical scoop on a city, do a cemetery tour with a historian. It was amazing. Miami was a regular wild west when people lived there whose names now grace our streets and causeways. That was great fun!!

    1. It’s hard to say what the signs history is. Not only are there seven cemeteries clustered together in one spot, several of them have gone through name changes over the years. The New City Cemetery is known by old timers and in many records as the Yellow Fever Yard, which tells you about all you need to know about that period of the city’s history.

      I’ve tried for years to tour the Galveston cemeteries at Halloween. The historical society does the tour, and it’s supposed to be wonderful — but reservations are needed, and they’re snatched up quickly. One of the wonderful things about these cemeteries is that the allow wildflowers to take over in spring — at least, some of them do. I’ve made a couple of trips down this year, but I need to make another trip or two. Memorial Day has been rich in flowers the past couple of years, and I hoping it will be this year, too.

      1. When I look at the barren cemeteries of today, or at least in so many places, I truly miss the evocative monuments and head stones of the older places. As for me, I want my ashes in the ocean so my kids can think of me when on the water or even, heaven forbid, at the beach!! I love undersea life and used to study marine biology a lot, so dust to dust can be the sea for me.

        1. I decided on cremation years ago, but my feelings about having my ashes scattered have changed. I used to think “yes,” but now I’m more inclined toward burial. I think it’s the concreteness of being in a place that appeals. None of these decisions are wholly rational, of course — and thank goodness we have options available, and are free to chose. Heaven knows some of my friends have made or been involved in some very creative/unusual choices.

          1. I have always had the crazy idea of insisting my sons have a bonding adventure to go to a place to distribute my ashes. I’d have distant choices like tossing the ashes off the Banzai Cliff in Saipan which I have an affinity for, or close up one’s like maybe Hell’s Bay in the Everglades. As time goes I lean more toward the environments nearer me such as the glades or Florida Bay…or maybe Eco Pond in Flamingo? I understand the stability and continuity of an actual grave though. There is a ditty that has always bothered me though about what happens to you in the grave.

            1. Ha! I know that ditty, and I suppose I wouldn’t sing it with a ten-year-old’s enthusiasm any more. On the other hand, I don’t spend much time thinking about the process of cremation, either. Some things are better left alone…

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