Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Headline Blunder First of Two Mistakes In Telegraph Story

In this story on the Web site of The Daily Telegraph, Spanish politician Gaspar Llamazares decried the "low level" of intelligence the FBI demonstrated by using his hair and facial features in a digital simulation of what Osama bin Laden might look like sans his usual long beard and turban get-up. (They basically just made Llamazares look older, called him bin Laden and then took the rest of the afternoon off). In a similar vein, the Proofreader is decrying the low level of proofreading skills demonstrated at the Telegraph for allowing spelling mistakes in the headline and body of said article--mistakes reported to the Proofreader by Stan Kost.

As you can see highlighted in the screen shot above, the word politician is short one i, and misspelled "politican." Highlighted in the below screen shot of the article's sixth graph, Kost noticed the word technician was lacking an i, and misspelled "technican."

"I can't attribute it to simply a British spelling variation (as I can with "programme" in the same paragraph)," wrote Kost in his e-mail message, while also marveling at how technician was spelled correctly in the previous sentence and bungled so soon after. The Proofreader's guess: Maybe the i key on the writer's keyboard was sticking or something, because both mistakes are similar in nature. That's an explanation, but not an excuse, because copy editors or proofreaders should've caught these blunders.

The Telegraph offers readers a very thorough online Style Book, however, interestingly, the book mentions nothing on the merit of careful proofreading. Perhaps Telegraph Style Book editors should write that entry--pronto!

The Proofreader thanks Stan Kost for submitting the mistakes.


Cortana Lain said...

Good article I enjoyed it a lot. I also have problems of where/how many "i's" go into a word. I am usually reciting while typing, "i before e except before c...". LOL. And as you also said it could have been keys sticking. For me, it's usually my nails at times. Also lucky that my youngest daughter is a big help for me, since she's good at proof reading when I ask her to check my writings (didn't ask her help on this).

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