Archive | Mistakes & Mishaps

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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Walla and no further adieu

Most people who insert foreign-language phrases and expressions into their materials do so because it makes them appear to be intelligent and sophisticated, n’est-ce pas? That is, it does unless they misspell the phrase or don’t really understand what it means. A particularly common error involves using the marvelous French word “voilà” (“behold” or “there […]

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Should you compliment someone or complement them?

Many words that are similar carry very different meanings, but that doesn’t stop people from misusing them. Generally, they’ll accept a correction in the intended spirit, but that isn’t always the case. I remember one situation in which a client was so convinced that his misunderstanding was actually correct that I lost his business. He […]

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Election coverage goofs and more

  Election coverage is fast-paced. I get that. But there’s always time to double-check what you’ve written. Unfortunately, many in the national media have been sloppier than normal this year. What’s particularly disturbing to me is when I see wrong words in Associated Press stories, given that the AP once set the standard for excellence. […]

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EVEN MORE GOOFS AND GAFFES

I miss the days when newspapers and other media wouldn’t publish a story until it had been edited and edited again. Sadly, expediency has supplanted accuracy, and shrinking budgets have eliminated the copy editors who dispatched typos and other errors from their writers’ dispatches. These days, the only thing protecting writers from themselves is their […]

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