Archive | Mistakes & Mishaps

More media mistakes and mishaps

It’s time once again to present some typos and other amusing mishaps that appeared in the media. I don’t poke fun at individuals for making mistakes, but professionals should know better. All three of these examples involve the use of the wrong word. In each, the writer chose a homophone of the intended word, and […]

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Year-end goofs and gaffes

From time to time, I share embarrassing mistakes writers shouldn’t have made. I don’t target well-meaning amateurs — only professional writers and editors who should know better. Some recent examples: A September political newsletter from the Indianapolis Business Journal referenced a candidate forum by noting, “It wasn’t a true debate persay; all of the questions […]

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More goofs and gaffes

A local magazine’s article about a coworking space included a number of amusing typos, but my favorite had to be when the author described the floorplan, noting “… comfortable booths and couches and desks with partisans to offer privacy.” Neither the writer nor the editor caught that one. Obviously, the author meant “partitions,” as in […]

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Even still more goofs and gaffes

Again and again, I see proof of professional reliance on spellcheckers instead of good old proofreading and editing. Case in point: a Northwest Indiana Times article about funding for safety improvements on the South Shore Railroad. The reporter included this bullet point: “Implementation of Positive Train Control, a federally mandated safety system that tracks the precise location […]

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When proofreading, don’t skip the familiar

Whether mistakes are just amusing, horribly damaging, or simply embarrassing, they don’t belong in your marketing communications materials. That’s why proofreading is so important. That said, there’s a certain kind of error that proofreaders miss more often than any other … and it’s quite embarrassing (well, not as much as substituting a call-in sex line’s […]

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Sorry for the WHAT?

It happens so often that I have trouble believing it. People inadvertently reveal a little more than they want us to know about them. They post a confession and an apology: “Sorry for the incontinence.” Sure, we know (or at least we hope) that they’re really not apologizing for bladder problems. We’re hoping they really […]

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Another set of goofs and gaffes

I’ve recently seen several mistakes involving the wrong word used in place of another that sounds identical, but is spelled differently and carries a vastly different meaning. An Indianapolis Star article about flooding had a caption that began “Storms dye down …”  The writer meant to say “die down,” as in taper away, not “dye […]

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