I will never find all the bad sentences

Even now, a year after the book came out, two weeks before the paperback arrives, I’m still finding bad sentences in it.  The one I just noticed:

It was scary when a statistical model deployed by the Guest Marketing Analytics team at Target correctly inferred based on purchasing data that one of its customers—sorry, guests—a teenaged girl in Minnesota, was pregnant, based on an arcane formula involving elevated rates of buying unscented lotion, mineral supplements, and cotton balls.

I must have written “based on purchasing data” and then tried it again in a higher pitch with “based on an arcane formula … cotton balls” but forgotten to take out the original, leaving a sentence with a weird, redundant double “based on.”  Who knows how many mistakes like this are left in the final text?  How many will I never catch?

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3 thoughts on “I will never find all the bad sentences

  1. Jon Awbrey says:

    I thought that was what editors were thought to before.

  2. D.I. Ozier says:

    Even with diligent editing, some mistakes are always going to slip through the cracks.

  3. I just looked at one of my papers from a few years ago, and staring right at me in the fourth sentence are two appearances of the pronoun ‘they’ confusingly referring to different antecedents.

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