Friday, April 17, 2009

TV Guide and Mediacom Tag-Team Prison Break Mistake

Well, yet another copy mistake has been caught by the sharp-eyed Stan Kost, which has led the Proofreader to hiring him as the blog's Midwest correspondent. Welcome, Stan. In an e-mail, Stan wrote, "The Prison Break repeat episode which airs tonight is indeed titled 'The Sunshine State,' not 'The Sunshire State,' as either TV Guide or Mediacom has indicated." As you can see in the highlighted picture below, Stan noticed a typo in the episode's synopsis on his digital cable guide. So, who's to blame for this screw up?

Both Mediacom and TV Guide, although the mistake originated with TV Guide. According to a spokesperson at Mediacom, who seemed a tad too quick to blame TV Guide for the blunder, the digital cable provider purchases its digital cable guide content from TV Guide...but never proofreads that content before making it available to customers. Therefore, Mediacom, because of its utter and wanton laziness, gets to share some of the blame with poor TV Guide.

You have to feel a little bad for TV Guide. The Internet, TiVo and digital cable have all conspired to render our old favorite, "The Guide," virtually obsolete. Once upon a time, TV Guide was the venerated authority on T.V. listings, but had become so embarrassingly irrelevant in the T.V. listings business, that it was forced to change from a "digest" to a "glossy" format a few years back and now focuses more on gossipy, celeb news. Evidently, its attempt to maintain some of the T.V. listings market share in the digital era hasn't been all smooth sailing.

As you can see in the highlighted screen shot above, the blunder is not only limited to TV Guide-powered digital cable guides. It also exists on the TV Guide Web site, shamefully, just above a correct spelling of the word sunshine. It's a somewhat common mistake among bloggers and what not, but definitely shouldn't be made by pros. Thanks again, Stan, and welcome to the fold.


pstonge said...

Shouldn't that be "The Prison Break repeat episode THAT airs tonight is indeed titled 'The Sunshine State...'

Or you should set off the which with commas.

Either way, not a good showing for your new correspondent, or the person posting his comment without a proper edit

J. Alfred Proofreader said...


You're right. It's a restrictive clause and "which" should have been "that."

However, Stan's e-mail doesn't really meet the main criterion, since he writes them and no one edits them, as is the case with most people's e-mail.

I guess I could've changed which to that, but I didn't think it mattered too much since I was quoting from a personal e-mail message.

Thanks for the comment and the scrutiny.

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