Which is more disgusting: The newly-released commercial by the New York City Health Department, or the sloppy copy in a news story about the commercial? In the commercial, a man is shown guzzling a glass of what is supposed to be fat, the health department's not-so-subtle way of denouncing gluttonous soda drinking. In the article published on the Web site of WCBS local news in New York, there's an instance of what appears to be a typo that resulted in gibberish in the seventh graph and then, in the second-to-last graph, there's just plain gibberish.
As you can see highlighted in the screen shot above, WCBS combined the words "the" and "obesity" to create "thobesity." Sorry, WCBS. That's not a recognized portmanteau. Highlighted in the below screen shot, WCBS uses "widash" in the middle of a sentence. Wait, what? Having never seen widash used earnestly as a word before, the Proofreader looked it up and couldn't find an entry for it in several credible online dictionaries.
To make sure WCBS wasn't getting all highbrow in a story with a lowbrow hook, the Proofreader consulted Jesse Sheidlower, editor-at-large of the OED and author of The F-Word. If widash is some brand-new or über-obscure word, Sheidlower would know and he says it isn't. In an e-mail message, he writes that widash "seems pretty clearly to be a typo or some artifact of the publication process, rather than any new word or even a thinko of some kind."
Click here to see the commercial of the guy drinking a glass of fat.
The Proofreader thanks Jesse Sheidlower.