Tuesday, August 12, 2008


When I was a copy editor at my college paper, I would wake up every morning afraid to look at the newspaper and find the mistakes I made the previous night. (I also had nightmares about what mistakes I made, but that is probably not something I should admit in public.) But I love finding mistakes in other newspapers.

A special place is reserved in my heart for mocking the Washington Square News (the paper that belongs to NYU, or as someone once called it "that homeless shelter" because "they'll take anyone"), which once ran an entire article about a strike happening, which is fine -- except that the strike didn't actually happen.

But finding mistakes in good papers is particularly rewarding. To be able to say "I knew better than the NY Times' copydesk" is one of the most satisfying experiences out there.

Reading the corrections is a similar, though not quite as satisfying, way to feel good about the fact that some other newspaper is not so good. Especially when the corrections read like the ones in today's NY Times (emphasis mine):

A listing of credits on April 28, 1960, with a theater review of "West Side Story" on its return to the Winter Garden theater, misstated the surname of the actor who played Action. He is George Liker, not Johnson. (Mr. Liker, who hopes to audition for a role in a Broadway revival of the show planned for February, brought the error to The Times's attention last month. )


An article on Sunday about Senator John McCain's campaign management style described his role as a Navy pilot in Vietnam incorrectly. He flew bombing missions as an attack aircraft pilot, but he was not a "fighter pilot." (The error has appeared in numerous other Times articles the past dozen years, most recently on April 9 and on Dec. 15, 2007.)

Hat tip: Gawker

For more fabulous corrections, check here.


At 8/13/08, 5:15 AM, Blogger K said...

what was that guy's name again? what i most remember are his d&g glasses...


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