Mar 18 2009

Beat a Professional Proofreader!

Hello.  I have an exciting new game for the grammatically inclined.  Compete with B. Mac in a proofreading contest.  Those that can score 80% as many points as BM will be eligible for a volunteer moderator position.  Those that score more points than B. Mac will also receive a free Superhero Nation t-shirt.  (I’m judging the contest, but I’ll be fair).  If you’d like to compete, please download the following document and email your completed version to superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com.  The contest ends on March 27!

68 responses so far

68 Responses to “Beat a Professional Proofreader!”

  1. Lunajamniaon 18 Mar 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Oh dear golly that idea just scares the heck out of me. It’s tempting, but I cannot bite, I am sorry. I’d be dreadfully horrible at it and embarrass myself.
    Eh … maybe I shall ‘bite’ … Yeah. I’ll try out for the proofreading contest. ^_^

  2. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 7:57 am

    I hate the word contest. I have no competitive spirit whatsoever. Unless of course it’s for an acting gig. I’ll still try though, I think I can win. Oh

  3. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 8:20 am

    I think you can win, too. The good news is that we have no set number of positions to fill, so you’re not competing against anyone. If there are ten people ready to go, we’ll take all ten.

  4. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 9:21 am

    Okey Dokey. I’ll email you when I get home. 😀

  5. Tomon 19 Mar 2009 at 12:47 pm

    A proofreading contest? I am SO in! My dad was a professional sub-editor for many years, if I haven’t picked up a thing or two I’ll be damned!

  6. Fitzon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I emailed mine to you. Did you get it?

    Also, hey everyone. I’m going to try to comment more on this site from now on. I’ve been visiting for a while, just been too lazy to post a comment until now.

  7. Marissaon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Welcome, Fitz. 😀 If you want your own review forum, ask B. Mac, he’ll set one up for you.

  8. Fitzon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks! I think I might want one, just not right now because I don’t have any writing projects going on. But, my spring break starts in two days, so I might try to start working on something then.

  9. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 2:53 pm

    My yahoo account won’t send my email for some reason, I’ll see if I can get it to you another way.

  10. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I made a google account and sent my revision.

    Wish me luck!

  11. Lunajamniaon 19 Mar 2009 at 3:10 pm

    *wishes RB luck*

  12. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 3:16 pm

    *Grabs Lunajamnia’s wished good luck and twists it into bad luck, then stuffs it in a bottle*

    Thanks, Luna.

  13. Lunajamniaon 19 Mar 2009 at 3:50 pm

    *Luna is confused*

    Anyhow … I almost made it, when they have another ‘contest’ I am entering that one.

  14. Fitzon 19 Mar 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Woo! 84%

  15. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Good job Fitz!

    Better luck next time, Luna.

  16. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Ok. Cadet Davis just told me that he finished the first ten.

  17. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 4:24 pm

    One person asked “how can you beat B. Mac if a perfect score is 100%?”

    Actually, a perfect score is not 25/25. Cadet Davis offers a bonus point whenever he thought that the proofreader did something that was notably effective or smooth. If you would be interested and have already taken the test, Cadet Davis can provide you a list of the elements that he has awarded extra points for.

    Cadet Davis awards 5 points for each of five categories (spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice and organization/clarity). Then he subtracts one point for each mistake in each category and adds one bonus point for each exceptionally well-done edit. A volunteer editor has to score at least 20/25, and anyone that scores 26/25 will win a “I Beat B. Mac” shirt.

    If you would like to see a list of the edits that have earned bonus points, please let me know and I will have Cadet Davis send you a copy of all of the ones he’s given out so far.

  18. Marissaon 19 Mar 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Yeah, I’d like to know about bonus points I earned/might earn if I do get any.

  19. Fitzon 19 Mar 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I’m interested. Can I see that list?

  20. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 4:36 pm

    How many submissions did you guys get?

  21. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I think I did well for the clarity, I think it was my major focus. I hope my normal grammar issues didn’t get in the way though.

  22. Fitzon 19 Mar 2009 at 4:52 pm

    RB, They just sent me an email saying they got 15 so far.

  23. Marissaon 19 Mar 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Ack, you guys are making me so anxious. xD I’ve not gotten any word yet.

  24. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Neither have I.

  25. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 5:11 pm

    15 sounds right. But Cadet Davis is running this, so don’t take my word for it. Also, as soon as Cadet Davis is done with the list, I’ll have him send it.

  26. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Ok, Fitz and Marissa. Cadet Davis just said he’s sent off the list. Don’t pass it around! 🙂

  27. Marissaon 19 Mar 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Received the list, and noticed a few that I got. =O Now I’m even more eager to see my score. Hahah…

  28. Holliequon 19 Mar 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I don’t get a copy of the list? 🙁

  29. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Oh, can I have one too? Sorry for asking late. 🙁

  30. Fitzon 19 Mar 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Got it, thanks.

  31. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:07 pm

    84%, I was hit hard by my crappy grammar.

    [CADET DAVIS ADDS: He did ridiculously well on word-choice and organization but got a 0/5 on grammar.]

  32. Fitzon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Nice, Ragged Boy! I tied you. Organization was my worst section.

  33. Holliequon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:11 pm

    76%, so my grammar was even worse (I missed some stupid things too, like “supervillian”). 😛 I did pick up some bonus points, though!

  34. Marissaon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:12 pm

    …Wow, I totally misunderstood the assignment. xD Ah well, better luck next time I suppose.

  35. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I actually got villain, I was so proud of myself. I only passed because of a mass of bonus points in one section. I had a 0/5 in grammar. Grammar is so passively difficult, I don’t know a comma for a colon. Haha.

  36. Marissaon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I… didn’t pass. =/ This was gonna be a huge opportunity, too. Things happen for a reason, though, I guess.

  37. Cadet Davison 19 Mar 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I want to die. Yeah… that’s what we do (collectively) 30 hours a week. A few pointers.

    1. This test was designed to represent a worst-case scenario, a comment so ludicrously bad that it needs to be almost totally rewritten. However, most comments do not need to be reorganized. Grammar, spelling and capitalization are much more likely to come up than word-choice or (particularly) reorganization. I would only reorganize a comment if it were completely incomprehensible to a casual reader.

    2. If you didn’t get it this time, please feel free to take part when we do another contest in about a month. Those of you that did beat 80% will also get a chance to beat B. Mac next time.

  38. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Marissa, don’t get down! There will be another chance next month. 🙂

  39. Fitzon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I probably tried to over-organize it and ended up making it worse.

    Marissa, don’t feel too bad. You can learn from this so that you can do it next time.

    Also, B. Mac, you’re going down next time! (probably not but I like feeling intimidating)

  40. Dforceon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Lol. Though the assignment was kinda hard, it was still pretty fun. Thanks.

    And thanks for your passion of literature, too. You gotta love what you do to go through all the mess you guys see.

  41. scribblaron 19 Mar 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I just sent mine in – hope its not too late. Feel free to post my score public. I forgot to say.

  42. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Actually, I do anticipate that I will get beaten next time.

  43. Marissaon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I under-organized. See, I thought I was supposed to just fix what was necessary to make it readable, rather than fix it so it looked good. I was under the impression that this was someone else’s words, and that I should respect them in leaving the words as close to the original as they came. =/

  44. Ragged Boyon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I knew from the start not to reorganize through observation. Even when there’s some crazy comment the heads never change things around.

    I funked up on the grammar so bad Davis made a Vanilla Ice simile. Ouch, haha. I suck at commas.

  45. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 6:40 pm

    I don’t understand. Isn’t Vanilla Ice good?

  46. Cadet Davison 19 Mar 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I did end up penalizing a few people for veering too far from the spirit of what was written.

    Also, Vanilla Ice is one of the most notoriously bad performers of the 20th century.

  47. Marissaon 19 Mar 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Yeah… I guess I might consider doing it next time, but by then the mod position won’t be open I bet, so that defeats the purpose.

    I’m still gonna stick around and try to do all I can, help-wise, of course. 😀

  48. B. Macon 19 Mar 2009 at 7:29 pm

    The moderator position will still be open next month. We don’t have a set number of positions to fill.

    UPDATE: If you haven’t submitted a contest entry, you still have until next Friday to apply. Get on it!

  49. scribblaron 20 Mar 2009 at 3:31 am

    Resent it. I had a problem – I put the address wrong, aargh!

  50. Stefan the Exploding Manon 20 Mar 2009 at 6:21 am

    Wow. I didn’t expect the contest to be over so quickly. I’ll have to try again next month, I guess.

  51. B. Macon 20 Mar 2009 at 6:54 am

    What? It’s still open. We will accept entries until next Friday (the 27th).

  52. Stefan the Exploding Manon 20 Mar 2009 at 7:16 am

    Oh, really? Excellent! From a few of the comments above I got the idea that it wasn’t. I’ll get right on it, then.

  53. scribblaron 20 Mar 2009 at 7:57 am

    84%, seems to be a trend…

    I kept wanting to change things, which wasn’t part of the task.

    But hey, full marks on clarity and grammar. It was my spelling that let me down. The annoying thing is I’m better at spelling than I am at grammar – I just didn’t think to proofread my own piece before submitting. Oops.

  54. B. Macon 20 Mar 2009 at 8:08 am

    Hmm. I think so far we’ve given out 2 scores of 88% or higher. Based on what Davis told me, most people did exceedingly well on spelling and capitalization. Out of a possible 10 points on these two categories, contestants are averaging 9 so far. Grammar has been particularly tricky, though.

    I won’t say too much more about the grading until the contest ends on Friday.

  55. Tomon 20 Mar 2009 at 11:20 am

    It’s probably worth noting that spelling and capitalisation are picked up by Microsoft Word’s spellcheck, which would explain why so many people got those sections right. I did worse than I expected to, I made some silly mistakes, and totally forgot that [censored] should not be capitalized.

    Still, I passed, just…

  56. B. Macon 20 Mar 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Sorry, Tom. I had to censor your capitalization mistake (to keep the test fair). The good news is that I suspect that anyone who took the test knows which one you’re talking about. About half of the contestants miscapitalized that word.

    When Cadet Davis and I were making a rubric for this test, we spent fifteen minutes arguing about whether that word could be capitalized. In the grammar section, it took us another ten minutes to agree that GI Joe was just as acceptable as G.I. Joe.

  57. Tomon 20 Mar 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Oh, lol, whoops!

  58. scribblaron 20 Mar 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I’d argue that the word in some circumstances should be capitalized.

  59. Ragged Boyon 20 Mar 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I don’t feel too bad about my score. I’ve come to accept that my grammar isn’t the best. I also know that I’m good in other fields and that every writer struggles with some things. I was just proud that I actually qualified.

    Thanks again for the opportunity! See you guys at the finish line! ( I didn’t know that I was so competitive) 😀

  60. Ragged Boyon 20 Mar 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I meant “and *that* every writer struggles…”

    See, a perfect example of my point.

  61. Holliequon 20 Mar 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I DID argue that “that word” (if it the one I think it is) should be capitalised this time. 😛

  62. Ragged Boyon 20 Mar 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I also thought “that word” was normally capitalized.

  63. scribblaron 20 Mar 2009 at 7:44 pm

    After this is over, we should definitely have an in-depth discussion about whether or not that word should be capitalized.

  64. Fitzon 20 Mar 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I wasn’t sure about “that word”, but I took a chance and got it right.

  65. Tomon 21 Mar 2009 at 3:55 am

    There are some cases where that word can be capitalised, but not in the context it was placed. I can’t give an example of where it would be capitalised without giving away the word.

  66. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I know that I’ve only been here for a few days… but can I try it too? Just curious.

  67. B. Macon 25 Mar 2009 at 7:28 pm

    You can take the test, but I’d also like to take a week or two to evaluate how you get along with people here. It’s really important that our moderators be able to interact with our guests in a mature and friendly fashion.

  68. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 7:47 pm

    That’s cool. Will there be an opportunity later to become a moderator?

    I really don’t mind waiting. I completely understand the need to get to know me. I am immensely intrigued by the possibility of being a moderator.

    But what really got my attention was the “beat a professional proofreader” aspect of the contest. I probably have no chance at winning but I’d like to try. 🙂

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