Friday, November 27, 2009

Yearbook Spelling Mistake Oldie But Goodie

Yeah, it's twelve years old, but here's one for your "HTF did that happen?" file. The cover of La Salle University's 1996 yearbook features a misspelling of the school's name. Wait, what? Repeat: the name of the school is spelled wrong...on the cover of the yearbook.

Unbelievably, the school's name is spelled with one too many Ls: "La Sallle," triple L. And that's La Salle University in Philadelphia, the accredited, legitimate and respected university; not this impostor in the Philippines and not "LaSalle University," the diploma mill that has been shut down and whose founder was indicted on many counts of fraud and sentenced to a prison term.

The error appears in several places throughout the yearbook, in addition to the cover, as you can see from another picture of the mistake below. This is one of the more bewildering (and funny) printed mistakes the Proofreader will probably ever encounter, a true team effort that resulted in a leviathan blunder. How many people looked at the copy and didn't notice the trifecta of Ls in the university's name to be printed on the book's cover? The yearbook staff, school administrators, the company that printed the yearbook, etc. all had a hand in the blunder.

The Proofreader is ceaselessly amazed at how mistakes like this and those on the signs in Hoboken are allowed to be printed on things that are created for the explicit purpose of being looked at repeatedly over a long period of time.

How does a keepsake that will presumably be gazed upon for a generation or two get tattooed with such an egregious miscue? The possibilities are endless and there's really no telling how this one happened. But one thing's for sure: This is a mistake that absolutely never should have been made.

This post was originally published on December 11, 2008.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Missing Spaces, Letters and Extraneous Letters; Small Mistakes

But they're mistakes, nevertheless. As the Proofreader continues cleaning off his desktop, he offers up a two-for-one Thanksgiving post. As you can see in the highlighted screen shot below, this August 18th story in The New York Times about Brett Favre, the N.F.L. quarterback notorious for his Hamlet-esque indecision about retirement, is missing two spaces in key spots and contains an extraneous N making the word "a" an inappropriate "an." This article has since been updated and the mistakes removed.

It's too bad the Times and Apple don't have some sort of extraneous letter-sharing agreement on the books, because within a few days of the above mistakes, on its Web site, Apple lacked an N where it needed one, as you can see in the highlighted screen shot below.

These are small, nit-picky mistakes, but most definitely mistakes that you wouldn't expect from these two industry leaders.

The Proofreader would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, especially all of the professionals who continue making printed mistakes that shouldn't be made.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Record Low Temp Occured 16,000 Years Into the Future?

18,915? Huh? Settle down, now, Eyewitness News. Stop trying to play mind games. Everybody knows the record low of 55 degrees in New York City on August 18 couldn't possibly have happened some 16,000 years in the future. However, it is possible that proofreading will still be in vogue in 18,915. So look at the bright side: Everyone at WABC has over 16,000 years to master those all-important proofreading skills. Should be plenty of time to nail it down.

The Proofreader caught this one a few months ago--stay tuned for more mistakes that Proofreader has been too busy to post over the last few months as he cleans off his desktop.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sloppy Copy In Allen Iverson Coverage

Now that N.B.A. malcontent Allen Iverson has been released by the Memphis Grizzlies, rumors are swirling in the sports media about which team, if any, will take a chance on signing the aging guard to a contract. In its haste to enter the conversation about the possibility of the Knicks picking up Iverson, Yahoo! Sports has saddled its readers with some sloppy copy, likely the result of a proofreading fail.

As you can see highlighted in the screen shot above, the last line reads, "Isn't now the time to a few Greek teams to say they'd take Iverson in a heartbeat?"

There should be a "for" after "time" in that sentence rather than a "to," so that it reads: Isn't now the time for a few Greek teams to say they'd take Iverson in a heartbeat?

Also, the very sentence above it is borderline sloppy. It's definitely messy. But, it's not the type of ironclad sloppiness worthy of highlighter ink, like the last line is. Come on, Yahoo! Sports. Just because an N.B.A. team is about to make an epic mistake by signing Iverson doesn't mean you fine people need to make little blunders in your coverage of that mistake.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Proofreader Job Posting Sullied By Lack of Proofreading

This type of irony has been featured several times before here on the blog: A company looking for a proofreader fails to demonstrate competent proofreading ability in the very job posting seeking the proofreader.

Oh, the stupidity! Look at the mess highlighted below: Bilingual shouldn't be hyphenated; What the F is "Sapnish"?; and English and Spanish, two proud languages, are repeatedly demeaned by a lack of capitalization. This posting is patently disgraceful.

These types of job postings at once elucidate a company's immediate, glaring need and expose the surprising (yet amusing) ineptitude of those charged with satisfying that need. Today's example comes from a posting on made by the glorified temp agency Adecco Creative, a repeat offender. Evidently, the only thing creative about this temp agency is the myriad ways in which it mangles the English language in print.

Job applicants who see this posting must be unable to help wondering which "world renowned" publishing company would allow itself to be represented so unprofessionally by an outside agency. If any readers can share any info on which company is looking to fill this post, please contact the Proofreader. Adecco Creative never responded to e-mailed questions.

Also, the Proofreader would like to take this opportunity to remind proofreading-challenged companies, like Adecco Creative, that they can seek proofreading services from the good sponsors of this site--just scroll down and look below, in the right column. Click the various ads and see which company might best meet your proofreading and copy editing needs!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Woes Continue For Job Seekers, Job Posters

The unemployment has rate vaulted over ten percent in the U.S. Unemployment benefits continue getting extended by state governments and the federal government. As if that news isn't depressing enough, many employers, either frightened by the continuously growing mob of job seekers or defiantly mocking that mob, continue making silly, juvenile blunders in their online job postings.

Today's example of proofreading buffoonery comes to you courtesy of the H.R. people over at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. As you can see highlighted in the above screen shot, according to a job posting strewn about the Internet, MetLife is looking to hire a Director of "Comminications."

No doubt--the "I" and "U" keys sit right next to each other on the QWERTY keyboard, making for an easy typo opportunity. But this typo could've been averted with careful proofreading. You'd think that, when hiring for a communications position, MetLife would want to communicate to applicants in a way that wouldn't distract/annoy/amuse/infuriate those applicants.

Presumably, careful proofreading and straightening out idiotic communications problems will fall under the purview of the lucky sap to land this gig.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How (NOT) To Proofread a Job Posting

In the same week that the unemployment rate marched past ten percent (for the first time since 1983), yet another employer looking to pluck one of the poor, out-of-work saps from the ever-expanding abyss of unemployment made a copy mistake in its online job posting. The company in question spelled its own name wrong. Dumbasses!

This time, as you can see highlighted in the above screen shot, the culprit is Howcast Media, Inc. Not Howcast "Meida," as the company might have you believe in its job posting on Howcast is a relatively new Internet company that traffics in how-to videos.

Interestingly, Howcast has a section of its site dedicated to counseling people on how to accomplish various career-related activities. The eternally kind folks at Howcast even have a video that shows people (evidently new to the planet) how to write a résumé.

Behold step nine of Howcast's very own "How To Write a Résumé" video:

If that's a little small for you (click on the screen shot to enlarge), Howcast's advice is, "Spell-check your work." Oh, Howcast. If only you how-to clowns would practice what you preach.

Job-seekers, the Proofreader is going to do a little Howcast impression for a second here by telling you how to apply for this job, but without the nifty video (the Proofreader works on a bare bones budget, okay).

Follow Howcast's advice and not its example when applying for this job. That's right, please make sure your own name is spelled correctly on your résumé. You cannot afford to make silly blunders like this. Not in this job market, damnit! Thank you.