Recently I have been perusing and reading and examining a book titled: The Life of the Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D.D., -- Late Lord Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India by The Rev. Josiah Bateman, M.A. Published in 1860 in two volumes -- total 942 pps.
So, what is so interesting about this? The book was published in 1860. Why is that interesting? I'll tell you why. There are no typo, spelling, punctuation, grammar, or formatting errors. As a matter of fact I have not been able to find a writer or printer error of any kind. The text is dense and complicated with different margins, and different fonts, and different page layouts, and lots and lots and lots of words. No errors. Still not impressed? This book was written out longhand and then a giant pile of handwritten pages (942 pps.) was submitted to guys at the print shop who had to hand set the type. And believe me this text had to be set by highly focused professionals because the content is no testosterone filled adventure story. We've got one church guy doing a biography of another church guy. I don't want to say this book is dry but . . . . still no errors.
What does this have to do with Thailand? Simple. Go to a book store in Thailand that has foreigner clientele and pull down some of the modern Thai-farang novels and non-fiction 'true-life' accounts. Many of these books are riddled with printing, spelling, grammar, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and formatting errors. Mention this to the author, or mention this to the printer, or mention this to the editor and they always have a story (excuse). Do you know what an excuse or a 'story' is? It is a reworking of reality. Reality does not need to be reworked. Just be sincere, set high standards, and do excellent work.
Here is my take on this. In 1860 the author Rev. Josiah Bateman and the publisher John Murray of Albemarle Street in London cared. Today we don't care.
We are going backwards. We are devolving. Maybe in terms of Darwin's ideas on evolution we peaked in 1860. It would not surprise me. People today with low standards always have a story to explain their low standards. We have become a race of story tellers, excuse makers, dissemblers, salesmen, and frauds. I think I'll just put this Thai scene novel back up on the display stand. If the author and the publisher do not care, why should I?
Oh, and one more thing I almost forgot. Do you know one of the guaranteed threads in any response from authors or printers or publishing houses that I get when I admonish them regarding low standards? Get ready. They say I do not understand the publishing industry, or 'what it takes to get a book published'. Sort of like the daughter who has become a whore telling her mother that she just does not understand the modern world. Get real. We are not launching rockets to the moon here, or conducting subatomic particle research experiments, or . . . it is writing, editing, printing, and publishing. This excuse delivered in an aggressive, self-righteous, self-serving juvenile wail is the same excuse Thais offer foreigners for low standards--you do not understand Thai culture. Get real: and set a standard you have never even thought of; your next book will be perfect. Not one error. They did it in 1860.
© Dana. All rights reserved by the author.