Been noticing more typos and other errors in articles, posts, and other materials prepared by the media? You’re not alone. We all make mistakes (I’ll admit to more than my share), but newspapers and other professional media outlets used to have procedures in place — such as a team of eagle-eyed copy editors — to catch and correct those mistakes before they would reach the public.
Today, most of the copy editors are long gone and reporters post stories without having anyone else review them, often under pressure to get them online as quickly as possible. Plus, far too many reporters put their complete faith and trust in spellcheckers. While those are amazing pieces of software, most can’t determine whether you used the wrong word, especially when you choose a word that sounds the same but has a completely different meaning. Among recent examples I’ve seen:
A January Indianapolis Business Journal interview contained repeated references to the interviewee’s “tenants,” although the individual had nothing to do with real estate. Tenants are people or organizations who rent or lease space. The word the writer should have used was “tenets,” referring to guiding principles or philosophies.
In February, an IndyStar.com article about a movie inspired by the Andy Griffith TV show got the show’s title right, but Barney must have been the web editor who changed the news page headline to read “‘Andy-Griffin’-inspired movie to film in Indiana.” Not only was the name wrong, but what the heck was that hyphen doing between Andy and Griffin?
A March 30 IndyStar “Coronavirus Watch” email went out with a subject line that read “Cases sore in Marion County.” Yes, I’m sure that’s painful, but the word they were looking for is “soar,” meaning to climb dramatically. (To the writer’s credit, he quickly reposted with an apology.)