Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cool Picture, Uncool Mistakes

A couple of weeks ago, a local news channel in Portland posted on its Web site this very interesting story about unusually low tides off the Oregon coast. Unfortunately, as Midwest correspondent Stan Kost noticed, the third line of the article, a collaborative effort by KGW.com and the A.P., lacked the preposition "of" where it should've been printed, between "remains" and "shipwrecks," as you can see in the highlighted screen shot below.

Now, it's very possible that the two editorial teams made this mistake because they were distracted by the coolness of the art accompanying the story. How often do you get to see real shipwrecks exposed by dramatically recessed tides?

The Proofreader doesn't typically like to give out Mulligans for this sort of thing. But, for the sake of argument, however unlikely it may be, say he gave these editors a mulligan because he liked the content so much. Well, then the Proofreader would expect that these two professional editorial teams would use that Mulligan wisely and get it right the second time around. Sounds fair, right?

Unfortunately, despite the generous Mulligan, they screwed up again. As you can see in the above screen shot, editors caught the original mistake and inserted an "of" where it was lacking. But then, inexplicably, they decided to rephrase the end of the sentence--and made another mistake!

D'oh!

This time they forgot to place a space between "to" and "see." Why they even tinkered with the copy any further is a mystery to the Proofreader. Aside from the missing "of," the copy was fine. Moral of the story: Leave well enough alone. Oh, and don't give out mulligans. Ever.

The Proofreader thanks Stan Kost for submitting the mistake.