Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HBO Haggard By Typo

Recently, HBO debuted a documentary by Alexandra Pelosi titled "The Trials of Ted Haggard." You know Ted Haggard as the evangelical preacher who, evidently, loves crystal meth and sex with men as much as he loves Jesus. If the Web site for the documentary is any indication, Haggard may also have a thing for typos.

Highlighted for your viewing convenience in the above screen shot, you'll notice that, between the main logo for the movie and the headline for the reviews (both of which feature correct spellings of the title), the copy promoting the DVD reads, "The Trails of Ted Haggard." Trails? Trails aren't one of the hallmark effects of meth usage, but are commonly associated with LSD. No word if Haggard was into dropping acid too, but nothing would surprise at this point. What about typos? They're commonly associated with slipshod writing and careless proofreading.

Friday, February 20, 2009 F's Up Oscar

Newsday, a New York City-area paper, printed a significant blunder in a headline on its Web site today. The mistake was captured and submitted by an anonymous reader. As you can see in the highlighted screen shot below, in a headline for a story about Hugh Jackman's sexiness (naturally, the very definition of "news") Newsday Web editors wrote "Hugh Jackman is Ocar's sexiest host." In an e-mail message, the anonymous reader wrote, "Oh, really? Who the hell is Ocar?"

Given that on Sunday Hugh Jackman will host the 81st Annual Academy Awards show, there's no doubt the editors made an attempt, however feeble, at "Oscar," the popular nickname for the Academy Award of Merit. The derivation of the Oscar nickname is up for debate. But who the hell is Ocar?

Either a bunch of California realtors, a high-ranking military office or an anarchist radio station. OCAR is the acronym used to refer to the Orange County Association of Realtors, the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve and Orange County Anarchist Radio, a "truely independent" Internet radio station based in Califorinia. Yep, the radio station may be independent of corporate America, but it's not free of spelling mistakes. That "truely independent" is their mistake, featured in the logo on its Web site, not the Proofreader's (click the link above to check it out). Also, there's no evidence that the radio station is affiliated in any way with the realtors. One thing we do know, though, is that Ocar is in no way affiliated with Hugh Jackman or The Academy Awards. Duh, Newsday should have known this too.

The Proofreader thanks the anonymous reader for submitting the mistake.

Disappointing Spelling Mistake in Times Op-Ed

Vol.CLVIII...No. 54,592 or the February 20, 2009 edition of The New York Times contains a spelling error in an Op-Ed column by recently-retired N.F.L. head coach Tony Dungy. The mistake was published in both the online version of the article and the printed version in the newspaper.

In the second line of the second paragraph of an article titled "Diversity Everywhere but the Sidelines," the word disappointing is misspelled "disapointing," lacking one of the two Ps in the word, as you can see in the below screen shot.

Also, if you have the print edition of the paper, turn to page A31 and you can see the mistake in the article which appears at the bottom of the page. Or direct your attention to the highlighted picture below.

The New York Times Op-Ed page is consistently a veritable marketplace of interesting and usually well-expressed ideas, which is why it's disappointing when these types of minor errors sneak by editors. And, while Tony Dungy was a great N.F.L. coach during his career, he has much room for improvement as an Op-Ed writer, the spelling mistake notwithstanding, because that was the fault of several people. Perhaps he shouldn't have quit his day job. Typically, the Times publishes better-written, better-thought-out Op-Ed columns. This one was subpar on two levels.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

E: MLB Network Editorial Team

Ah, yes. The crack of the bat. The familiar smell of leather gloves, fresh cut grass and Red Man chewing tobacco. Spring Training is upon us. This time of year MLB players practice fielding hundreds of ground balls (stay down on the ball; don't let it play you!) in the quest to minimize errors during the regular season. Meanwhile, the editors of the newly-launched MLB Network Web site apparently engage in no sort of similar preparations, having begun the pre-season with a huge error.

As you can see, highlighted in the above and below screen shots, MLB Network Web editors have been running a poll on its home page that asks people to vote on which of Baseball's most hallowed records is least likely to be broken. It's a classic debate. The problem is Cy Young, MLB's all-time winningest pitcher, didn't win 551 games. He "only" won 511 games as the MLB online record book confirms along with several other credible Internet sources. What? Any baseball writer worth his salt knows the number 511 goes hand-in-hand with Cy Young.

So, how does the MLB Network screw up one of baseball's most well-known records? In an e-mail message a spokesperson for the MLB Network wrote only, "Thanks for sending the note and pointing this out to us." So, the Proofreader is forced to assume the root of the error is an undesirable quality both on the baseball field and behind a keyboard: butter fingers. As of approximately 4 p.m. the error has been corrected.

Also, if, like the Proofreader, you really want to nit-pick, to maintain a continuity of style, the copy should read "Cy Young's"; all of the other names in the poll are possessive. Overall, as far as printed errors go, this is tantamount to the 1986 World Series, Game Six Bill Buckner error. Such an easy play...ohhh, right through the legs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stickin' It To The Man...Again

Once again, the Proofreader has discovered a job posting tarnished by sloppy copy, this time a glaring headline blunder. Wow, how'd that mistake slip by? According to an ad posted on a few weeks ago, the Hachette Filipacchi Media-owned Woman's Day magazine is looking to add an "Associte Online Editor" to its staff, as you can see in the highlighted screen shot below.

The job posting lists several qualifications "the ideal candidate" is expected to possess, though, interestingly, accurate spelling and competent proofreading skills are not among them. "The man" in this case is Hachette Fillipacchi Media, a Frenchman to be precise, and the world's largest magazine publisher. You'd think with those kind of credentials, despite being French, someone would know the proper English spelling of "associate." As an employer, you just can't make mistakes like that in this economy. Well, actually you can, but at least the Proofreader isn't going to let you get away scot-free. Technically, as a job applicant you can't make mistakes like that.

But wait, did the Proofreader miss another mistake in the headline? What about the apostrophe in woman's? Yeah, it looks like a mistake, but some slack has to be cut because the job is for "" and there's no apostrophe in that Web address.

If you're one of the many unemployed and disenfranchised people looking for gainful employment, you should check out Pink Slips are the New Black, a blog written by and for people who've been laid off. They're disgruntled and doing some funny stuff over there, sticking it to the man, that will make you feel better about not having a job for a few minutes. And they were nice enough to pick up one the Proofreader's previous posts. Be sure to check them out and thanks to Pink Slips are the New Black for linking to that post.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are Women Aroused By Balboa?

Female desire has long been a mystery sought to be solved by men and women alike. So notes the cover story from the January 25th, 2009 edition of The New York Times Magazine in its highlighting of the efforts made by several researchers who are making headway on the topic. It's an intriguing and much debated story that mentions a lot of weird stuff, like people watching monkey porn while being monitored by scientists. Seriously.

But wait a second. On pages 29 and 30 of the magazine, the article mentions the "long-term effects of ginkgo balboa extract on sexual dysfunction in women," as you can see in the highlighted screen shot below. Gingko Balboa extract? What is that? An involuntary "DNA" sample from Sylvester Stallone? That seems way too weird, even for a story hinging on monkey porn.

And it is. Evidently, the article was attempting to reference the ancient and celebrated herb Ginkgo biloba, which has been used to treat everything from tinnitus to dementia. But somehow the word "balboa" followed Ginkgo in the print edition. Online, Times Web editors caught and corrected the mistake, as you can see below in the highlighted screen shot taken from the second page of the story's Web version. If this is a typo, it's one of catastrophic proportions because Balboa and biloba are really not that similarly spelled. The article listed several different things researchers found to be foolproof aphrodisiacs for women, including lesbian porn and video of a nude woman exercising. Seriously. However, nothing about proficient proofreading skills getting women hot was mentioned. Tragic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sloppy Copy Double Shot on Drudge Report

Long before the inception of this blog, The Drudge Report routinely allowed silly copy mistakes to be published on its main page. Recently, though, less errors and typos have shown up in headlines posted on the news aggregator. Until yesterday.
As you can see highlighted in the screen shot above, two copy mistakes adorned The Drudge Report for many hours on February 3rd, 2009 (and they still live in its archives). The first, and more glaring of the mistakes, occurs in the top headline of the left column. Prior to suffering spectacular retinal damage, sharp-eyed readers no doubt noticed the word interview is misspelled "intervu" in a link to a story about heroic pilot Chesley Sullenberger granting his first interview to ESPN.

Huh? Intervu? That's not your mommy's or your daddy's typo. OMFG! That's, like, teenybopper chatlish or text message shorthand.

If your eyes still work, shift your view a little to the right and another less obvious mistake exists in the second line of the middle column's top headline. A headline linking to a story about actor Christian Bale's alleged anger management issues reads, in part, "Audio Leak From WARNER BROS set to TIMEWARNER's TMZ." Now, since the audio tape was recorded on the set of a Warner Brothers movie shoot, some people might take that line to mean "a leak from the set." But, the way the line is worded, it seems like it was intended to read "Audio Leak From WARNER BROS sent to TIMEWARNER's TMZ." Sent rather than set.

Either way, the interview debacle is completely unacceptable. How do these blunders happen? Both mistakes were brought to The Drudge Report's attention and, since, e-mail messages seeking further information have been unanswered.