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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Copy Editor to the World

Why don't these people call me first?

Seriously, I know I'm not the only one who is bothered by an apparent decline in literacy among the editors of the nation's periodicals. Hardly a day goes by that I don't read something that sets my teeth on edge. I generally like the Oregonian, but it's a frequent offender. National magazines err less often, but sometimes more egregiously. A couple of weeks ago, in an article called "The Democrats' New Western Stars," Time Magazine referred repeatedly to the "inner Mountain West." Urk. A simple Google search would have instantly revealed (250 vs. 408,000) that the preferred term is "Intermountain West." Way to go in gaining red-state credibility!

Even The New Yorker, which regularly gets even the really hard things right, slipped recently. In a Profile of Jalal Talabani, it mentioned him paying a visit to Mme Mitterrand in her home in "Sainte-Germaine." Um, maybe someone who's spent more time in Paris than I have will correct me, but I'm pretty sure that should be "Saint-Germain," the famous neighborhood in the 6th arrondissement/Rive Gauche.




Blogger MWR said...

How do you know that Time was not referring to a dwarven kingdom?

February 8, 2007 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Swizzies said...

Discreet vs discrete - I've been seeing this one all over the place lately. It annoys me as a statistician AND and English major.


February 9, 2007 at 1:41 AM  
Blogger Swizzies said...

Okay, copy edit my stupid "and" into an "an."


(Murphy's High Horse Law: You'll never make more grammatical/spelling mistakes than when you're bitching about people making grammatical/spelling mistakes.)

February 9, 2007 at 1:43 AM  

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