Saturday, September 29, 2007


Did you know that there are people out there who do nothing but proofread? It sounds like a pretty boring job to me, but it's oh-so-very necessary. I think they're now called "copy editors," but I'm not sure since I worked in advertising, not in the publishing world. I bring this up because I wish I'd had one when I hit the "publish" button a few days ago within Blogger (that's the software that Blogspot uses, I use, to write and complete my blog postings).

One nice feature of Blogger is a spell checker. Good thing. Even though I consider myself a very good speller (I even came in 2nd in a spelling bee back in junior high school), when you type and read, and re-read your own copy (the word copy means the text) you often make typing, spelling and grammatical mistakes. And when you go back and re-phrase things, move sentence structure around sometimes, you forget to go look at sentences from beginning to end.

Most of my recipes reside within my own recipe software program. I've mentioned it before, MasterCook. It's a great little program. But, it's only as good as the human (frail as we are) person who types in the ingredients and taps in the instructions. Some years ago I printed out a completed copy of all of my recipes and they live in two huge 3-ring binders here in my kitchen. When I go back and refer to them I sometimes notice little things about the recipes that need fixing. I've done a global spell-check of my complete cookbook, but there are some small errors that need to be fixed. Grammatical errors. Dangling participles. Detached phrases. Incomplete sentences. So I've attached little yellow stickies here and there to remind me to do that. One of these days I'll get to it and fix all of them. The trouble is, as perhaps many of you have noticed yourselves, unless you have a GRAMMAR checker, you don't know when a sentence contains something out of order. Like when you type is instead of it. The spell checker won't notice that because the word is correctly SPELLED.

That's why proofreaders, or copy editors, are so needed in the life of the printed word. To digress momentarily, during all the years I worked in the advertising field, and during the 17 years my business partner Audre and I owned an agency, we spent hours every week proofreading. We didn't have copy editors, or someone who did nothing but that. All account exec reciprocated with one another to proofread everything that went out of the house. Sometimes ads were proofread more than once. Not enjoyable time, but vital. If we ran an ad for a company and misspelled the name of an important piece of equipment used, especially acronyms, or wrote in that the applicant needed 10 years of experience, when in fact they only needed 1, those were glaring errors, and our client wasn't very pleased about paying big bucks when they might get very few applicants or applicants that were not at all qualified for the position.

That particular ad business is called recruitment advertising. There are lots of these firms out there and most people don't even know they exist. Lots of HR departments don't choose to spend time writing up and placing ads in newspapers and professional journals (or on Monster either) as their time is much better spent interviewing people. So recruitment ad agencies do that for them. That's what we used to do. Big ads, splashy ads, color ads, but mostly they were the smaller in-line black and white ads in local papers under the help wanted section. Ads for accountants, clerks, engineers, production people, scientists, nurses. You name it, we'd write up ads for them. Each of the account execs (we had about 7 or so) wrote up the individual ads and then they got proofread with someone else to make sure all the details got included, and that the fine print, like the company's phone number, address, and company name were spelled correctly. We proofread for spelling and completion, but also for grammar too. Although recruitment ads generally use a kind of "help wanted shorthand" too. Lots of incomplete sentences. Lots of words left out, to save space. Space is money.

So, we get to the crux of the matter. When I typed in the recipe for the Bloomin' Bread the other day (thank you again, Karen, for this awesome recipe), I failed to notice that there was no olive oil in the list of ingredients, but it was included in the instructions. I should have noticed. I'm pretty good at that kind of thing, usually. But not that day! Often when I type in a new recipe (here at home anyway) I re-write the instructions. To make them more clear, or in the proper order. Or to elaborate on something too. So my apologies to anybody who had already printed out my recipe for the Bloomin' Bread - it contains a little error. It really is a small error - it's only 1/4 cup (or less) of olive oil. But what's pesto, for goodness' sake, without some olive oil, I ask you?

Fortunately, I think that if any of my readers out there DID try it without the olive oil, it probably tasted just fine. But, to be true to the recipe, the pesto does include a little bit of oil. Perhaps less than a traditional pesto, which is fine because the cream cheese and goat cheese both add fat.

If you want a corrected PDF recipe of the Bloomin' Bread, click HERE.

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