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!


John Ruberry said...

Hey it's a tough one to spell. i struggled with it for a while. What works for me is breaking it in half:


J. Alfred Proofreader said...

Tough as it may be the first time or two, after all the exposure it's had, it shouldn't be a problem for pros by now.

Great spelling device you've devised for the name! Why couldn't the journalists in question come up with something similar?