I wonder whether there is anything similar for people writing instructions. As well as the multitude of Engrish instructions out there in the market, I often come across recipes that haven't been proofread or tested by a cook or baker. You can identify them by their missing ingredients, missing steps, ingredients that haven't been used, random steps that either don't serve any purpose or instructions that simply won't work.
How often do you see a recipe that has obviously been written to a formula but makes absolutely no sense? It's almost as though the writer is flying on autopilot; you start by preheating the oven, cream the butter and sugar, sift the dry ingredients, etc ... right through to serving with ice cream and enjoying (or whatever).
Take this Allyson Gofton recipe for lemon shortbread, for example. Predictably, it begins with an instruction to preheat the oven to 150ºC. Then, a few steps later, it says "refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or overnight".
Now, I'm all for being prepared, which is something I need to improve on when baking, but preheating an oven the day before cooking something is going a tad too far for me. I have also seen a muffin recipe that requires you to sift the dry ingredients first. The only problem is, one of the dry ingredients was six Weet-Bix. Good luck trying to sift them!
So, I'll make the lemon shortbread mixture on Saturday and refrigerate it overnight but won't preheat my oven until I'm ready to bake the biscuits on Sunday. Just as well I didn't follow the recipe this time!