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 nifty spellcheckers, and spellcheckers aren’t always smart enough to recognize the use of the wrong words. (I suspect the problem is compounded by reporters who just don’t know the difference.)
That’s how we end up with delightful examples like this one from a December 21 Indianapolis Star profile of a famous Indiana piemaker: “Wickersham points to a pipe leading to a separate room and notes the room holds three large silos of flower.” The article doesn’t specify whether the silos contain roses, daffodils, or Indiana’s official bloom, the peony. Nor does it explain how to craft a pie crust with a gardener’s pride instead of that more pedestrian ground grain.
A month and a day later, the Indianapolis Business Journal’s online newsletter warned of a “Blizzard baring down on eastern U.S.” One definitely doesn’t want to be naked in that kind of weather.
TV station Fox 59 posted a story about a major public safety project in Plainfield, noting that “residential growth has expanded the town’s boarder to the west.” If that boarder isn’t paying rent, I hope he’s contributing his fair share of taxes for the project, or local officials should march him across the border.
Finally, ever-eagle-eyed correspondent Steve Gutermuth pointed to a USA Today pre-Super Bowl story that suggested, “Manning cwould match Elway’s ring total with a win Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.” Steve believes “cwould” combines the best qualities of “could” and “would,” but warned writers about confusing it with “quid.” I think he should submit it to the OED.