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When I am Copyeditor General ...: Texas websites will be messed with


Texas websites will be messed with

Tomorrow we fly down to Texas for some family wedding-style fun, so recently I've been site-hopping, looking for event schedules, restaurant reviews and visitor information. As a result, I've encountered sites at all levels of usefulness and professionalism.

At the "nicely executed" end of the scale is, a lively, detailed collection of info, including a fun interactive map of Austin that lets you flag relevant attractions and leap from one location to another like a giant virtual kangaroo.

At the "please tell me this is some kid's homework" end of the scale is, the homepage intro of which begins thus:

"Welcome to the San Antonio River Walk Guide. Your guide to everything along the River Walk and the Downtown San Anotnio area. "

So we start with a sentence fragment and a typo? Fabulous! I would be generous and assume the latter is intended to pick up search results from a mis-typed keyword were it not for the fact that the site has more errors, grammatical inaccuracies and flat-out oversights than should be legal for a promotional communication.

Fiesta survival tips: "From what to wear, where to park, its al its all here."

The River Walk Planner: "Create your very own River Walk Plan. Browse the San Antonio River Walk and nver lose track of where you plan to stay, places to see, and much more Get Stared Now!"

In an attempt at personalization, the site includes functionality to allow visitors to create an itinerary. However, the developers' coding and database skills only go so far, as is evident from this warning at registration:

"DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSWORD - You can not retrieve your password and we can not recover it for you. Sorry, just please don't forget."

Best page on the site, though, is "Top 10 things to bring to San Antonio." Extra kudos for the warning to bring antacid ("this is so you can enjoy San Antonio’s spicy Tex-Mex food and tangy margaritas without grief") and the caveat that cash machines may try to rip you off ("Save money by not having to use the ATM’s").

The final tip on this page:

"10) Sun Block because if your not use to the South Texas Sun"

Oh, but I'm not use! What will happen to me?

Copyeditor General's ruling: Someone desperately needs to mess with Texas. Or at least San Antonio. Or at least

Oh, style guide bonus: the editors should figure out whether they're promoting the River Walk or the Riverwalk or the RiverWalk.

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