Here's a link to the latest Michael Richardson story on the alleged errors in Ma's thesis at Harvard. I don't want to give this story any legs because it is rapidly shaping up to be a poorly done smear and I don't want to spread it. Alas, inoculation sometimes requires exposure to the disease...
First, the Corrector's own problems. Richardson has been coy about the identity of the corrector, but I have my suspicions. I wrote in a comment on the first post (below):
First, there are no "1,000 errors." Until these are established as a fact by public display of the evidence, we have an unsubstantiated anonymous accusation. That is the very anatomy of a smear.If you take a look at the Corrector's commentary (I collected the images off Richardson's page above), there are more suggestions that s/he is a native speaker of Chinese....
This is exactly the kind of thing that backfires -- finding of error is inherently subjective. Worse, the story is presented as if a native speaker with no ax to grind was shocked. The way things are phrased suggests that the writer is not a native speaker of English -- the misused "as" is like a fingerprint -- but a native speaker of Chinese, and thus probably deep Green and thus, the story has less effect because it can be dismissed as just another deep Green smear.
IDIOM ERRORS: "....was messed up a big time."
MOST OF ERROR: "...most of books"
Anyone who edits Chinglish for a living, as I do, will recognize that very common most of ____ error for most___ or most of the ______. This is not conclusive, merely suggestive. Perhaps there is even more than one person doing this. Who knows?
The Corrector accuses Ma of not knowing how to do research. I accuse the Corrector of not knowing how to use Google. If you look at the claim for the "World Bank Spurs Energy Aid" the Corrector is technically correct: there is no such article on that date. But the article exists -- it is online (link). However, it is dated Aug 22 according to the NYTimes, not the 29th as Ma would have it. Probably a typo, but "no such article" is clearly wrong. The same error by our heroic Corrector is repeated in the third photo, where "no such article related to this thesis..." is utterly wrong (it is here) -- Ma is off by a day, a minor issue. Even worse, the second article in which the Corrector says "no such article exists on this date" is a complete screw up, there is such an article dated Feb 17, 1978, and it is online here. Ma dated it correctly but he got the page wrong, it is page 10, not page 8.* But our Corrector can't even identify the error properly. S/he is a complete embarrassment.
Whoever this person is, they should immediately cease their study of Ma's thesis, which they are clearly not competent to do (note that in the word spacing in the second pic they missed a minor obvious English error) and Michael Richardson should immediately cease reporting on this. It is exactly the sort of stupid thing that could backfire bigtime on the pan-Greens. There is no silver bullet that will pierce Ma's teflon coating. The only thing that will disillusion the public is sustained incompetence on the economy. Focus on that.
*Of course all this assumes the NYTimes website is correct.
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