Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Caption Of A Typo

WTF is going on over at Newsday.com? Lately, editors there have been screwing up headlines likes it's their job and now they let some sloppy copy get printed in a photo caption. As you can see highlighted in the screen shot to the left, the caption underneath the picture of the neatly-dressed music teacher claims that this fine, upstanding gentleman "could loss his job next year." Actually, he could lose his job next year and, if he does, that will then be considered a "loss." This article was published on the Newsday Web site on March 26th and, as of this posting, has still not been corrected.

If the Proofreader can opine for a moment here...the euphemistic language (loss, lost, losing, etc.) used in association with people getting fired from their jobs is driving the the Proofreader up a wall because it sounds like a total misnomer. It's not like people wake up bewildered one day and say, "Oh crap...where's my job? Anyone know where my office is? I forget where I work," like they're saying they can't remember where they parked their car. All these people got fired, or laid off through no immediate fault of their own. That means they had their jobs taken from them--they didn't lose them. This practice of sugarcoating is the equivalent of somebody who gets car-jacked casually noting, "Yeah, I lost my car today." Perhaps the spate of recent copy errors over at Newsday is a result of some proofreaders having had their jobs taken from them.

5 comments:

queensgirl said...

At least they didn't say he could "loose" his job...

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

That would've been an even more egregious error, queensgirl. I can tell you're a glass is half-full type of person.

stan said...

You could look at losing in the context of being the opposite of gaining: One gains employment when hired, and loses employment when fired.

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

You make a good point, Stan. However, I feel like the connotation of "lost" and its variants is that someone no longer has something through some fault of his or her own.

I also dislike the use of "lost" to refer to someone who has died. It seems like some tacit denial of what's really happened. Just a pet peeve of mine.

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