Joining the annoyingly escalating buzz about Twitter with a recent post on its blog, Editor & Publisher made a typo that resulted in the printing of "twats," a plural slang term for a part (or all) of the female genitalia--mwahahaha! Twats! The blunder, highlighted in the screen shot below, was brought to the Proofreader's attention by the sharp-eyed Lynn Klyde-Silverstein, a university professor. Wait, HTF does a mistake like this happen on the blog of a dignified trade journal like Editor & Publisher?
"The E&P Pub" blog posts aren't reviewed by copy editors before being published. In fact, surprisingly, Editor & Publisher doesn't have any copy editors or proofreaders on its staff. What? Really?
"We haven't had a copy editor or proofreader for years," said Greg Mitchell, the editor of Editor & Publisher, when asked how a silly gaffe like this gets published. "We only have a staff of eight people."
Editor & Publisher's managing editor, who wears a number of hats at the monthly journal, is the de facto copy chief, despite having multiple important duties competing for his attention. Also, editorial standards are less strict on the blog. Often, only one or two writers will look at copy before it's published and then later, perhaps, someone might notice a typo and get it corrected. "With blogs, you have to expect a few more typos," added Mr. Mitchell.
Evidently, the Twitter craze has led to an uptick in the use of the word twat by people trying to be funny. In a recent appearance on NBC's Today show, Stephen Colbert told Meredith Vieira he has "twatted." It's kind of funny, especially if watched on live T.V. rather than on YouTube. Also, in a February 12th video post on his blog titled "Twitter - The Movie," the comedian John Cleese wryly tells fans, "I definitely do twitter...with all the other twats."
Despite its similarity to Cleese's proclamation, Mr. Mitchell was quick to point out that the usage of twats on "The E&P Pub" blog was a mistake. "Our policy would be to not use a word like twat."
The Proofreader thanks Lynn Klyde-Silverstein and Greg Mitchell.