Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Philosophical Musing

Working on some catalog records, correcting one thing, I stumble across a lot of other strange errors. Misspellings, words jumbled together, etc.

It just reminded me that anytime you do something over and over and over, like typing "Electronic resources" or "Digitized and made available by Springer," you both get really good at it, so that your fingers can just whip out those words without your really even noticing, and get to where you inevitably mess up from time to time without noticing that either.

Like typing "Digitized andmade available by Springer," or "Electornic resources."

This is why I try to type this sort of thing as little as possible. Well, this and the attempt to stave off mind-numbing boredom.

'Copy and paste,' or automatic substitution phrases, can do a world of good. As long as you get it right the first time, of course.

But in general, this just reminds me that human error is ever with us. I might once have harbored idealistic dreams of having a perfect and error-free catalog, but in reality this is pretty much impossible.

We try to make it accurate, obviously, but there will always be many and various imperfections in its multitudinous records. You can't catch them all.

We fix them when we notice, but for the most part, we can't afford to fret about it. In cataloging, as in life, you do the best you can and accept that it won't be without quirks and flaws.


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