Monday, November 25, 2013

this is why 'writing on the internet' is not in fact any good

A truly ridiculous Flavorwire article by Michelle Dean about Jodie Foster's Home for the Holidays stumbles immediately in its first sentence and never ever recovers:

"The Thanksgiving film is a bit of a tricky wicket, as the Brits like to say."

STICKY wicket. For God's fucking sake. Yeah, it's the internet, I know someone is going to run to Google and come back screaming "People do so say tricky wicket!" No, that really doesn't fucking count. People say all kinds of shit, like "bored of me" and "irregardless" and "miniscule" and let's not even get into the Tumblr-speak of "UGH" and "srs bsns" and so on. People can use the Internet to prove any damn thing they want, the way the North and the South used to both find proof of their holy causes to eradicate/continue slavery in the Bible. And before you ask, yes, there's a difference between descriptivism, and sloppiness. The internet is one giant slopfest. You do not use slop as linguistic evidence.

-- But that aside (OK, nobody else is ever going to fucking care about "sticky wicket," I'm fine with this, certainly, no really I am), the entire article is about how "it turns out that Home for the Holidays hasn’t aged well, which perhaps explains why it’s very hard to obtain" (she then goes on and on about how a homophobic scene (in a 1995 movie) is "false" and a "film-ruiner" (this writer also says "quite literally," so people who claim online writing is edited can shut up and sit down).

That movie? is available on for $6.89.

It took me less than a minute to go to and type in the title of that movie. Michelle Dean didn't. Whoever edited her article didn't, either. Whoever posted it didn't bother to check. There are no more proofreaders, no more copyeditors, no more people who can say "Wait, is this movie really that unavailable?"

I'm not a big fan of Amazon sales rankings -- I think they're usually truly rigged -- but take a look anyway:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363 in Movies & TV
#7 in Movies & TV > DVD > Romance
#19 in Movies & TV > DVD > Comedy
#27 in Movies & TV > DVD > Drama

And this is why it matters when people don't know how to write, when they don't know what "literally" means, when they don't know how to research the common phrases of other cultures, when they don't apparently know how to use the very online tools that are supposed to make research oh-so-much easier now. It fucking matters that newspapers are dead and magazines are dying and what we're left with is this kind of crap on Flavorwire.

Happy holidays.