Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sloppy Copy Double Shot on Drudge Report

Long before the inception of this blog, The Drudge Report routinely allowed silly copy mistakes to be published on its main page. Recently, though, less errors and typos have shown up in headlines posted on the news aggregator. Until yesterday.
As you can see highlighted in the screen shot above, two copy mistakes adorned The Drudge Report for many hours on February 3rd, 2009 (and they still live in its archives). The first, and more glaring of the mistakes, occurs in the top headline of the left column. Prior to suffering spectacular retinal damage, sharp-eyed readers no doubt noticed the word interview is misspelled "intervu" in a link to a story about heroic pilot Chesley Sullenberger granting his first interview to ESPN.

Huh? Intervu? That's not your mommy's or your daddy's typo. OMFG! That's, like, teenybopper chatlish or text message shorthand.

If your eyes still work, shift your view a little to the right and another less obvious mistake exists in the second line of the middle column's top headline. A headline linking to a story about actor Christian Bale's alleged anger management issues reads, in part, "Audio Leak From WARNER BROS set to TIMEWARNER's TMZ." Now, since the audio tape was recorded on the set of a Warner Brothers movie shoot, some people might take that line to mean "a leak from the set." But, the way the line is worded, it seems like it was intended to read "Audio Leak From WARNER BROS sent to TIMEWARNER's TMZ." Sent rather than set.

Either way, the interview debacle is completely unacceptable. How do these blunders happen? Both mistakes were brought to The Drudge Report's attention and, since, e-mail messages seeking further information have been unanswered.

6 comments:

arkhamschild said...

That should read "Recently, though, fewer errors and typos...".

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

Arkhamschild:

Thank you for reading. You're one of the few visitors to this blog who actually reads the content.

However, I regret to inform you that you're wrong. "Less" is correct.

Pg. 31 of the The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage: "fewer, less. Use fewer for people or things that can be counted one by one...Use less for things that cannot be counted."

Due to the nature of The Drudge Report, the mistakes that are made on the front page really can't be counted one one by one, thus I used "less."

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

but you, yourself wrote "less errors." Should be "fewer errors." We all goof up... but try to minimize it. haha to your explanation, but errors are finite things and thus "fewer" is correct. Now if the TV ads would only get it right...

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

Sharkbytes:

Thanks for your comment. I don't think that whether errors are "finite" or not is the issue here. The Times style manual provides the following examples as a guide for when to use fewer or less:

"Fewer than 100 taxidermists attended."

"Most shoppers are buying less sugar."

In the above example, the amount of sugar is finite, but not easily calculable. I maintain the same is true of the errors on The Drudge Report.

Unless you have a style guide that offers differing advice?

Correction: that entry appears on pg. 131 of The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, not pg. 31 as previously stated.

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Jeff Manning said...

Does anyone have a site that JUST lists drudge typos and grammar errors? I'm a drudge fan, but I think they should be ashamed for less than 100% perfect English language usage.

By the way, if so, I have 2 new entries for today's drudge page.