Monday, January 20, 2014

Publication Foibles

This morning I found a couple of hilarious mistakes in our town's local reporting website.  There are often some real doozies but this morning's spelling and grammatical errors were kind of cute.

In one article, about a donation to upgrade a seniors' care facility, I read that these seniors will now be able to "live safer and more comfortable."  It seems that adverbs are on the way out in our online media reports.  The words "safely" and "comfortably" were the correct words to use, but the more I read online articles the more I see a new ignorance of adverbs.  If we want to look like complete hicks on the world reporting front, let's keep that up.

The other article that made me laugh out loud, (Would that be more correctly [correct??] LOL since this is an online blog??], was about a group of provincial women riding snowmobiles across our province to raise funds for the cause of cancer research.  According to this little article they are going to raise the funds by "snowmoiling".  Talk about an hilarious gaffe in the spelling department.  "Hey Harriet, wanna go snowmoiling with me today? It's for a good cause."

We all make mistakes when we write that are not picked up before publication.  I have certainly made my share with this blog despite my best attempts at proof reading and will most likely continue to do so.  It happens sometimes despite our best intentions, but I do try to proof read even these little blog entries as best I can and correct errors as I spot them.

I remember once asking a CTV online writer about a truly horrendous mistake in the copy of an online report. I was told rather snippily that the idea of online reporting is to get something written up and published as quickly as possible and as a result such mistakes are "going to happen".  The particular mistake I was asking about had resulted in a deluge of responses from readers who had completely misunderstood what the article was saying, just because of that one spelling error.  The amount of time spent posting a brief article of correction, then a second article refuting the error in the first article, could have been avoided simply by taking 30 seconds to proofread the very first article before it was published.  

Our rush to give and receive information has reached a point where we are more in danger of misinformation than truth when we write and read news items.  

That being said, this morning's errors started my day off with a great dose of good humour.  I needed that today.

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