Why correct a text … in the era of the image?
«The day after» the climax of visual culture has arrived. Is today. After two or three decades in which the relative importance of the visual each year predominated more and more, one day, books, magazines, newspapers, advertising, web pages, television videographs and even the subtitles of films dubbed into Castilian were tortuous , ambiguous, equivocal or directly illegible.
Little by little, the power of the image was phagocytizing everything to the detriment of the text, of the written message. At first nobody gave importance, fascinated by new technologies, high resolution screens, 3D and other digital toys.
The “fever of the future” was such that the major newspapers and magazines of national circulation dismissed their editors, publishers reduced to a minimum their staff of editors -recommended the reading of the book The Edition without Editors by André Schiffrin- and advertising agencies they thought it superfluous to hire good editors, supplanting them for very young scholars with impunity.
The height of the time was the case of a multinational that spent tens of thousands of dollars to create a website with excellent special effects, delicate fonts, the most subtle Pantones, sublime music, flashing videos that opened at the speed of fiber optics and other paraphernalia.
The day of the presentation of the extraordinary web page arrived, in a five-star hotel with cataracts of French champagne and luxury guests. There was no expense, but when they projected the image on a kilometer screen, amidst rehearsed toasts and smiles, something failed.
Everything stopped abruptly, music and image. The world of speed stopped in its tracks, generating a thunderous silence. Then, all the attendees could see that on the frozen screen, in addition to stunning images, there was text.
In those seconds of visual abstinence, the director of the multinational had time not only to finish his cup but to read the text that – at the foot – accompanied the festival of three-dimensional textures that “sold” his brand. It was then that he was horrified to see that the text was full of errors.
He wanted to dismiss the person in charge of the squall, but could not find him for a simple reason: there was no such person in that huge work team. Among the infinity of creative luminaries that had participated in the genesis of the website there was not a single editor, proofreader or content editor. Requiescat in pace.