Kill English Mistakes Contest page could use a little help

It’s amusing to see the less-than-stellar writing on the Contest Description webpage of the DOI’s “Help Us Kill English Errors” campaign. Oh, well, at least it’s a start, which ought to count for something.

[quote][url=]Providing correct English information makes foreigners feel Taipei is friendly. The Department of Information is holding an activity to seek and destroy errors in its English publications. The contest is called “Identifying Errors in Department of Information English Publications,” and it runs from November 1, 2005, to January 31, 2006. If you find an error and send it in, you can win a gift.

The Department of Information is trying to build a truly bilingual environment in Taipei. To do that, we need to get the mistakes out. You can help by checking for errors on the DOI website, in its propaganda, and on its signs at City Hall. If you have some extra time, you can also proofread speeches and articles for the rightness of their grammar and translation.

Check out the activity at the links below.[/url][/quote]

Here’s my attempt at revising this page:

[quote]Correct government information in English helps make foreign residents and visitors feel Taipei is more friendly. The Department of Information is sponsoring a contest to seek out and destroy errors in its own English publications. This contest, dubbed “Identifying Errors in the Department of Information’s English Publications,” runs from 1 November 2005 to 31 January 2006. If you report any errors, you are eligible for a gift!

The Department of Information wishes to build a truly bilingual environment in Taipei. To accomplish this, we have targeted all writing mistakes. You can help by looking for errors on this very website(!), in our promotional materials, and on signs at City Hall. If you have free time, you can even proofread speeches and articles (free of charge!)

Learn more about how to participate in the contest at these links:[/quote]
Links direct to Chinese-only webpages :noway:
And that last line about proofreading for free “kills” me

I only saw one genuine error, and it was a usage error, not a syntax error. They should have used “correctness” rather than “rightness” since “rightness” denotes right in the sense of legality or morality rather than whether or not it contains mistakes. There is one major stylistic change I’d make- change “propaganda” to “promotional material” as the word “propaganda” has a negative connotation.

All the other changes you made were minor stylistic editing. I’d say the original passage is certainly acceptable and the revisions (with the exception of replacing “rightness” and “propaganda”) are unneccessary.

Anyway, you’ve gotta give them points for ingenuity…great way to get free proofreading. But think about it – when’s the last time anyone actually made suggested changes? Will they this time?? :unamused: