Friday, January 30, 2009

"Homophonia" Plagues Job Posting

Yep, all "manor" of printed mistakes made in job postings are being pointed out and a new word is being coined here today. Described only as the "Website for (a) major NY based publishing company," this employer has allowed an apparent case of "homophonia" to sully an otherwise nearly error-free online job posting, published about two weeks ago on

Evidently, those who wrote and edited this job posting were sick the day the lesson on homophones was taught in third grade. As you can see, highlighted in the fourth line of the posting's third graph, the eventual triple-threat employee will be expected to deliver video material in "a timely manor." Oops, that manor is actually defined as "a mansion."

They were looking for this manner, that means "a way of doing something." In the event that you experience your own case of homophonia, this handy list ought to clear things right up for you (for more on homophones - and they are indeed homophones, despite the heading - click here and scroll down to "nomenclature").

If you apply for this job and contact this employer with a similar blunder, you can kiss your chances of even being granted an interview good-bye. That's a harsh consequence. What consequence does the company suffer? They make a silly blunder and get off scot-free, almost. Thankfully, we can all enjoy some small justice by holding this anonymous company up for a dose of good-natured public ridicule on the Internet, which is the primary reason the Internet was originally invented.

Ever find a printed mistake that shouldn't have been made in a JOB POSTING? E-mail a screen shot of it to the Proofreader at

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reader-Submitted Headline Mistake on N.Y. Times Web Site

"We have been publishing The Times since 1851 and there has never been an edition that did not have typos or errors of fact in it," conceded a senior editor from The New York Times Public Editor's office in an e-mail message. "And there never will be," the editor predicted, when asked about a major misspelling that appeared in the headline of a December 8th, 2008 article on the Gray Lady's Web site. This mistake was caught by the discerning eye of READER BEN, who kindly brought it to the Proofreader's attention.

As you can see in the highlighted screen shot above, The Times neglected to spell Illinois with the requisite two Ls in this article, that's since been changed. In many font types, the capital I and the lower-case L look exactly the same, so it's possible the similarity of the two letters tricked editors into thinking they saw the correct spelling. But, Illinois is a pretty well-known state and it has a silent S at the end. Forgetting the S at the end of Illinois seems like the more likely and explainable error. Either way, this misspelling occurred in a headline, in big, bold print. How exactly does an obvious mistake like this get published? Are these kinds of errors due to over-worked editors or just the breakneck pace of reporting online?

"Many of those errors certainly can be attributed to the crush of deadlines," wrote the senior editor. "And that is certainly true now for reporters and editors on the Web. Their deadlines are 100 times tougher than any print deadline. "

Wait, what about spell-check? Sometimes, in the dash to break news on the Internet, Times editors don't have time to use spell-check and other proofreading methods. And, when they do deploy such devices, spell-checking software occasionally registers a word as spelled correctly, unaware of the context in which it's being used. Ultimately, though, the senior editor points to simple human imperfection.

"The reason these mistakes occur is quite simple: The Times is staffed by human beings and we make mistakes."

The Proofreader thanks Reader Ben, writer of the The Baseball Card Blog, for pointing out the mistake.

Ever find a printed mistake that shouldn't have been made? E-mail a screen shot of it to

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tense Confusion on N.Y. Local Newscast

During its 11 p.m. broadcast on Saturday, January 17th, Eyewitness News, which can be seen on the ABC owned and operated Channel 7 in New York City, printed a mistake in its lower-third chyron during a report on the fighting between Israel and Hamas. As you can see, highlighted in the screen shot below, Eyewitness News writers and editors became confused with the tense of the verb "to continue."

Rather than "continues," Eyewitness News should've used the word "continue" before the word "fighting," which, as you can see in this conjugation of the verb, is the indicative future tense. No, verb conjugation wasn't interesting in grade school and it's definitely not interesting now. However, professional news writers and editors should demonstrate a working knowledge of it at all times.

Wait, isn't there another mistake in the the lower-third copy? Shouldn't "ceasefire" actually be hypehenated? Not necessarily; it's a style issue. If, like the Proofreader, you're a stickler for accuracy and style, then you'd consult The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, where, on page 61, you'd see "cease-fire" is the preferred style of Times editors, so that would have been a safe choice for Eyewitness News in that situation. Not hyphenating cease-fire is a variant but accepted form of the word, so there's no infraction there. Also, judging by the amount of space in the lower-third, writers and editors may have used the variant form because it was a better fit. However, there was no excuse for using the incorrect tense of "continue." That's a mistake that simply shouldn't have been made.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In Dire Need of a Proofreader

Make a typo or spelling mistake on your résumé or in a cover letter and you pretty much disqualify yourself from the job you're applying for. But, wait a second. What happens when an employer makes a typo or spelling mistake in a job posting? What happens is, those mistakes get highlighted and immortalized by the Proofreader, for all to mock and cast verbal assaults at. Certainly not a consequence commensurate with similar mistakes made by job applicants, but it's small justice.

In a twist of irony, Sunrise Systems, Inc. is seeking an employee to handle "Prooof Reading" duties, per the headline of this job posting, which, as you can see from this Google search, is spread about the Internet with startling abundance. Yep, you read that right. Three Os, as you can see highlighted in the screen shot above. Also, in addition to the extraneous O, "proofreading" is one word, not two. Making two stupefying blunders on one word demonstrates unparalleled mistake-making efficiency.

HTF does a mistake like this happen in a job posting for a proofreader? When reached by phone for comment, a recruiter at Sunrise Systems curtly stated he was "not interested" in discussing the error. All we can assume is the reciprocal of what the recruiter would likely assume if he received a cover letter featuring the same mistake: Sunrise Systems is a careless company. Underscoring that assumption is the fact that the mistake, published on or before January 12th, 2009, has still not been corrected, despite their knowledge of its existence.

Feel free to cast verbal assaults.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rare Mistake on Slate

Now that Misspelling Blagojevich Week is officially history, it's time to resume pointing out other recent mistakes made by media professionals. Today's example is a minor typo from an online magazine that's a model of scintillating content, superb writing and impeccable copy editing. Alas, mistakes are even made by the best of them.

Adjust your view to the fourth item of the "Arts" drop-down menu in the screen shot above, taken on January 11th from Slate Magazine's Web site. As you can see, highlighted for your viewing convenience, the word "Heightsreviewed" lacks a space that would make it a phrase. The copy should read "Heights reviewed." This is a very minor mistake given that it occurred in a drop-down menu and on a Web site that is consistently well-written and mistake-free, but it's a mistake nonetheless and it shouldn't have been made.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Misspelling Blagojevich Week: 9th Circle of Hell

Finally, Misspelling Blagojevich Week comes to an end. It's been a long and taxing week, nine days, not including the MLK holiday which was observed here. In fact, the series of posts became a burden for the Proofreader and resembled something like Dante's nine circles of hell. With that in mind, let's descend into the ninth and, thankfully, last circle of Blagojevich hell.

Today's Blagojevich bungling was found in a short item on the Web site of USA Today, posted on January 5th, 2009. The article is actually the opening of an article published on Reason Online, the companion to Reason magazine. In the article's third line, the Illinois governor's last name is spelled "Blogojevich's," in its possessive form, as you can see highlighted in the screen shots above and below. This blunder is a tag-team mistake, made by the editors at Reason and then also missed by editors at USA Today. Thus ends Misspelling Blagojevich Week here on the blog, though there are probably many other repeats of this mistake out there. Tomorrow we will return to regular programming. There are plenty more printed mistakes that shouldn't have been made in the queue.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Misspelling Blagojevich Week: 8th Circle of Hell

Wait, it's been seven days! How long can this week go on? Too long. Probably all month and maybe next month, too. Nevertheless, we soldier on into the eighth circle of hell here in Misspelling Blagojevich Week. The blunders were many, but, finally, an end is in sight. Till then, behold today's misspelling, found in an Associated Press article on Yahoo! News and countless other Web sites.

The mistake appears twice in the third and fifth graphs of an article dated January 7, 2009, as you can see highlighted in the screen shot above. This story was syndicated to numerous newspapers and Web sites around the country, as you can see from this search of the article's title. Interestingly, Yahoo! News editors, along with many others, eventually caught and corrected the gaffe. However, other news sources weren't as thorough (or lucky) and the mistakes still live in many places, such as here on the Web site of the Chicago Sun-Times, as you can see in the screen shot below, and on the Web site of ABC 13, the local news station in Houston.

The prevalence of this mistake is staggering, since it's probably not a typo. The A and O keys are situated at opposite ends of the keyboard. Equally as staggering is the apparent lack of knowledge regarding how to correctly spell Blagojevich among professional copy editors and proofreaders. Ah, he's been at the center of one of the biggest political scandals in years. They shouldn't be making this mistake.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Misspelling Blagojevich Week: 6th & 7th Circles of Hell

Due to technical difficulties (read: real work), Misspelling Blagojevich Week was offline yesterday, but it's back in full force today, with a double entry or the sixth and seventh circles of hell, as it's become for the Proofreader. The onslaught of Blagojevich blunders continues with mistakes made at professional blogs The Huffington Post and The Daily Kos. Politics is supposed to be the specialty of these two online pubs, but that doesn't give them immunity to this mistake that's been made far and wide, by big and small, by print and online publications, by left-wing and right-wing.

The above screen shot of a December 18 post titled "We Need a Good Obama Speech. Now." features a Blagojevich bungling in the first line of the third paragraph, as you can see highlighted above. Perhaps "We Need a Good Proofreader. Now." would have been a more apropos title for this post.

Below, The Daily Kos misspelled Blagojevich in the headline of an article lengthily titled, "If we can put Blogojevich aside for a moment, how is Obama doing?" as you can see highlighted in the screen shot. Who is Blogojevich anyway? All the news sources that have made and will make this mistake are really just making up news, because, technically, no one by the name of "Blogojevich" exists. Or at least no one that's been governor of Illinois.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Misspelling Blagojevich Week: Day 5

After a brief hiatus yesterday, Misspelling Blagojevich Week returns and trudges on for day five, which feels more like the fifth circle of hell than the fifth installment in a series of blog posts. The Proofreader gravely underestimated the task of coming up with something interesting or witty to say about professional journalists misspelling the last name of Illinois' impeached governor for an entire week. Plus, the Proofreader is too busy toiling on other duties today to write something decently thought out.

So, here is today's Blagojevich blunder coming to you courtesy of The Washington Post and Newsweek (a repeat offender here). It occurs in a 2007 post on an odd blog called "On Faith." Scan down to the sixth line of the second graph and the misspelling is highlighted for your viewing convenience.

In fairness, this mistake was made way back in 2007, long before Blagojevich's name was a household one. Nevertheless, with the combined resources of the two publications being so vast, someone should have noticed and corrected the mistake by now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Unnecessary Apostrophe In Fishbowl NY Posting

Let's take a brief hiatus from Misspelling Blagojevich Week to turn our attention to an unnecessary apostrophe that appeared in a post on the prominent media blog Fishbowl NY. It's not as wicked a scene as Sodom and Gomorrah burning, so you won't turn into a pillar of salt after looking at it, but the blunder does kind of sting the pupils.

In a post dated January 14th, an attempt at the word "lots" was made, but, instead, a possessive form of the Biblical character Lot is what readers got. "Lot's, yeah, it's what we got, I said remember that!" Wait, those aren't the lyrics to that song.

Anyway, direct your attention to the third word of the post's fourth line in the screen shot above and you'll see the sloppy copy, highlighted for your viewing convenience, staring you in the face. This is most definitely a mistake that should never have been made.

Misspelling Blagojevich Week: Day 4

Another day, another misspelling of Blagojevich. Hence the name of Misspelling Blagojevich Week here on the blog. While yesterday's example of the mistake came from a media giant (and a repeat offender), today's example comes to you courtesy of a little guy in the world of newspapers, The Lakeland Ledger in Florida.

As you can see, highlighted in the screen shot above, the impeached governor's last name is misspelled "Blogojevich" in the headline of an A.P. article dated January 9th. Interestingly, you'll notice, the editors took the time to supply readers with a phonetic pronunciation of Blagojevich's cumbersome last name right next to a correct spelling of the name in the article's opening line, but neglected to take the time to double-check that the name was spelled accurately in the headline. That's unbelievable.

Most likely, this is not an A.P. mistake as the name is spelled correctly throughout the body of the article. Probably, whichever Lakeland Ledger staff member wrote the headline made the error. To the paper's credit, however, they did correct the mistake. But it's still a blunder that should have never been published online.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Misspelling Blagojevich Week: Day 3

Misspelling Blagojevich Week, appearing like it might be a very long week, marches on and today's butchering of Blagojevich comes to you courtesy of a repeat offender. CBS News. While they may have an eye for a logo over at CBS, they certainly lack an eye for catching misspellings of Blagojevich. Yesterday we saw the mistake made at a media Lilliputian, today we have the same exact mistake from a media giant.
In a January 6th posting on the CBS News blog "Political Hotsheet" the last name of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is misspelled "Blogojevich," in its possessive form. If you haven't already, adjust your gaze to the first word of the post's fifth line and you'll see the mistake, highlighted in the screen shot above, of course, for your viewing convenience. CBS also made the same mistake a couple of times back in December of 2008. New Year, same mistake.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Misspelling Blagojevich Week: Day 2

Yesterday a Blagojevich bungling from a well-known newspaper was pointed out; today we have a bungling from a lesser-known paper. Takeaway: this mistake doesn't discriminate. It's made by big and small. Also, in both cases, they are mistakes that never should've been made by pro journalists.

Today's mistake is courtesy of North Denver News, a community newspaper with, according to an "editor's note" on its Web site, about 35,000 readers. The misspelling occurs both in the headline and the first line of the body of an article dated January 4, 2009 on the North Denver News Web site, as you can see highlighted in the screen shot above. In the second line of the article, Blagojevich is spelled correctly, which means this is likely an example of sloppy writing and bad proofreading. Granted, this paper is one step above a student newspaper, but with just one issue to publish a month, there's no excuse for a lapse like this to occur online. Not even the the thin air of the Mile-high City.

But, as the old saying goes, excuses are like asses; everybody's got one. In an e-mail message, the editor of North Denver News states the mistake's origin is not at North Denver News, but V.O.A., the wire service that fed North Denver News the story. According to the editor, North Denver News staff can't correct the blunder; only V.O.A. can. However, North Denver News, upon noticing the error, could have a) notified V.O.A. of the error or, b) not run the faulty story on its Web site. However, neither happened and an inaccurate news item remained published on the North Denver News Web site for at least six days.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Misspelling Blagojevich Week: Day 1

The rampant misspelling of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's last name has been pointed out on this blog before, and now, another misspelling of his name in the Newark Star-Ledger has surfaced, which, in turn, triggered another search for more occurrences of the same mistake. And, lo and behold, many more publications, big and small, have made the blunder also. In fact, too many for one blog post. Therefore, today is day one of Misspelling Blagojevich Week here, during which the butchering of Blagojevich's last name by a different news organization will be pointed out each day. So without further delay, let's get to the first Blagojevich bungling.

In a Star-Ledger editorial dated January 8, 2009 (and ironically titled "Roland Burris: a bungled deal"), the now-impeached governor's name is spelled "Blogojevich" twice in the same paragraph. Direct your attention to line two of graph six and you will see both misspellings. The examples are highlighted, as usual, in the screen shot below.

This error is particularly embarrassing given that it was made by the editorial board (editorial boards are typically comprised of some of the top, most influential brass at a newspaper), editorials are commonly written by multiple people and reviewed by multiple other people and, about a month ago, the same editorial board managed to spell Blagojevich's name right in this editorial. How'd they suddenly forget the correct spelling? It's hard to speculate, but by January 8th, their New Year's Eve hangovers should have been well in the past, so being drunk the night (or even two nights) before isn't an excuse. And the error raises this rhetorical question: if The Star-Ledger editorial board can't even spell Illinois' governor's last name right, what merit does their opinion really have?

Worse still for The Star-Ledger, this mistake likely made it into the printed edition of the paper, which the Proofreader has not been able to obtain. If anyone has it, please retrieve it from your recycling bin and contact the Proofreader.

Come back tomorrow to see what other publications have erred too. It's going to be a great week!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Silver Bullet Writer Wanted?

The year has just begun and, already, the Proofreader's highlighter has seen heavy action. This time the careless copy occurs in a job posting seeking a writer on the Dow Jones & Company Web site, which led to the unearthing of the same mistake on several other news Web sites. And another posting seeking a writer on the jobs site is peppered with printed mistakes.

At a glance, the parent of the venerable Wall Street Journal appears as if it might be searching for a writer with a taste for Coors beer. Obviously, they're not really looking for a brew-swilling reporter, but the fact they repeated "US Coorespondent" three times in a single job posting, as you can see in the highlighted screen shot below, has to make you wonder whether this is a Silver Bullet drinker's dream job.

It isn't. Perhaps the apparent typo reflects the job posting writers' and editors' Freudian affection for Coors or just that they downed a few Silver Bullets before the work-day concluded, but they are looking for a sober reporter. In fact, if you read through the text of the posting, Dow Jones & Company is actually searching for candidates who can "demonstrate the ability to write quickly, accurately and with flair." Ironically, they're looking for a writer capable of competent work, unlike that which appears in the job posting.

Wait, does a mistake-ridden job posting imply the writing of the person who eventually gets this job will be held to the same low standards? And, of course, how does a mistake in a job posting, which is certainly reviewed by many before getting published, occur?

"We all make mistakes, even at Dow Jones where we are known for the quality of our products and even the quality of our editing," writes a Dow Jones & Company spokesperson in an e-mail message. Besides that, Dow Jones & Company has "nothing further to say" on the topic, so there's no clear answer.

The people at Dow Jones & Company aren't fretting too much, though, perhaps because they have company. This is a somewhat common mistake, as a Google search of the misspelled word reveals. It's been made by many, including several different news organizations on their Web sites, like this one on a New York Daily News blog, this one on, this one on the Web site of The Tampa Tribune and this one occurring, shockingly, on Newsweek's highfalutin online Media Kit, which is used to court advertisers. All four are depicted below, highlighted for your viewing convenience.

Strained from exposing the above blunders, the highlighter shed even more ink on the next screen shot, of a posting for a blogger job on, that's riddled with errors. Equally amusing as the ad's silly, third-grade mistakes is its clumsy explanation of the relationship between blogging and advertising. There are too many miscues to mention them all, so you can see them highlighted below. But does this example really meet the Proofreader's criteria?

It's a close call. Ordinarily, the Proofreader doesn't point out mistakes made on personal blogs, for instance, because the criteria calls for the mistakes to have been collaborated upon by media professionals--mistakes that shouldn't have been made. According to an e-mail message from a spokesperson at Kijiji, company policy prohibits Kijiji staff from editing user-posted content, so Kijiji had no real hand in the gaffes. Furthermore, the spokesperson advised Kijiji had no information on what company or individual posted the ad.

Judging by the copy in this job posting, is far from being a media professional and sorely in need of a writer. At least he or she is self-aware. The fact that the ad seeks a writer, waxes grandiose about "big business" and features an onslaught of mistakes over-rode the fact that, most likely, a non-professional made them.

We may never know whether a professional is behind these mistakes or not. The Proofreader contacted for comment and to find out which company, if any, is hiring, but, has yet to respond as of this posting. Also, Newsweek has been contacted for comment on its Media Kit mistake and the Proofreader will update you with any information that becomes available.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Best of '08 and Happy New Year

Scroll down for some of the best mistakes pointed out here in '08 and for one more misspelling of Blagojevich's name that has reared its head, this one in an AFP article on After spelling the name correctly several times, the beleaguered governor's surname is spelled "Blogojevich" in the eleventh paragraph, as you can see below in the highlighted screen shot (click on the picture to see it enlarged). Once again, this mistake continues to confound the Proofreader because--quickly glance down at your keyboard--the A and O keys are at opposite ends of the keyboard. WTF? It's not like a typo where someone is going for the A and his finger glances off the A and accidentally hits the O key. And, of course, copy editors at AFP and Breitbart missed the mistake and allowed it to be published.

Well, enough about Blagojevich. There are probably countless more Blagojevich misspellings out there, but (believe it or not) the Proofreader doesn't have time to comb the Internet looking for them. Therefore, if you notice one that hasn't been pointed out yet, please e-mail it to the Proofreader.

Otherwise, please accept the Proofreader's thanks to the readers, commentators and followers of the blog and best wishes for a happy new year. And, if you're new to the blog, here's a list of some of the better mistakes posted here in 2008 that you might've missed.

There's this weird, 19 year-old mistake that occurred in The New York Times and The Chicago Sun-Times on the same day.

There's this great, 12 year-old mistake in which a respected university spelled its own name wrong on the cover of a 1996 yearbook.

There's this spelling mistake on the cover of Metro New York newspaper.

There's this spelling blunder on some pet waste signs in Hoboken, New Jersey.

And there's all these misspellings of the word "governor" by respected media outlets.

There's also some other good stuff, so feel free to peruse the archives.