Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Errors Aplenty In Times Baseball Column

Summer. The weather heats up (or warms up, this year), the days are longer, the overall pace of life slows down a little and people take all kinds of measures to maximize their enjoyment of the season. Often, those measures involve a vacation of one type or another. For many, the vacations are all mental. Good, old-fashioned escapism. Perhaps this explains the recent lapses over at The New York Times, because it seems like whatever Times employees have been editing and proofreading the Op-Extra "Heading Home" column have been on a protracted mental vacation. Come on, Times H.R. department--give these people a real vacation so they can refresh, recharge and return to form! The mistakes lately have been silly and elementary.

The first one, an instance of bad HTML, happened in a column published nearly a month ago titled "Fehr's Game." Interestingly, this isn't the first time "Heading Home" has been plagued by bad HTML. As you can see above, in the second-to-last paragraph of the column's first page, the word "all" appeared printed with HTML tags intended to make the word appear italicized. This one was corrected rather quickly, but was unable to elude the Proofreader.

Next, as you can see above, yesterday's installment of the column contained a spelling error that was probably caused by a typo. The writer was looking for the word "choose," but ended up typing the past tense "chose," which turned out to also be the wrong tense.

These mistakes are a shame, because they mar what is an otherwise great column that gives readers a unique perspective of a real MLB player's view of baseball and the world. There's no excuse for these silly blunders that only distract from the fine content. Hopefully, a vacation is in order for the editors and proofreaders in question. Everyone needs vacations, even proofreaders. Check that. Especially proofreaders!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mistake In Madoff Coverage

No, the Proofreader is not dead. And no, pro journalists haven't stopped making printed mistakes that shouldn't have been made. The Proofreader was just too busy the last few weeks to provide adequate attention to the blog and to the mistakes that have been made. Be assured there are plenty of mistakes to be pointed out, some sent in by readers. Today the hobby resumes with a spelling error in an article on NBC's local New York site. The blunder happened a few weeks ago when Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

As you can see highlighted in the screen shot above, NBC Web editors let a misspelling of "shielded" slip by them. The article has since been revised and thus lacks the original error. While Madoff's sentence for fleecing multitudes of investors is 150 years in the big house, NBC Web editors get a much lighter sentence for their offense: Being immortalized on the Internet for infinity for all to chuckle at.

Check back later this week for more mistakes, some big, some small.