Why you need to pay attention to what you write (It can be spelled right and still be wrong)

Over the last few weeks there have been several spectacular copyediting errors in newspapers around the country that probably passed right through a spelling/grammar check but still managed to totally humiliate the publication and the staff members responsible.

For example:

Clemson clinches birth in ACC ChampionshipI rather doubt that the Clemson football team was having babies, but….

Then there was this one that looks like a food story…

Party divided over sex clams.

But was actually about the Roy Moore senate race sexual abuse scandal. By the way, if you search for “sex clams” in Google… well, don’t.

Then finally, there’s the headline that looks like it was written by a couple of snickering teen-aged boys.

Students get first hand job experience

It’s not often that a single hyphen will turn something from ordinary into NSFW… ¬†Probably not the way this paper wanted a story to go viral.

Lesson of the day: Always proofread.

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4 Responses to Why you need to pay attention to what you write (It can be spelled right and still be wrong)

  1. Jerry says:

    I once went to a college party that had sex clams. There was no division, though. We were all pretty unanimous that they smelled like the sea.

  2. admin says:

    Jerry, you are a bad, bad man.

  3. Chris Allen says:

    Here is the BEST headline I ever read, if a headline is the summary of the story. Back in about 1989 or 90, North Dakota had passed a seat belt law, a helmet law and a new tax or two. Six of these got recalled. In addition, there were a couple of government reorganization issues on the ballot. Elaine and I had gone to Bismarck for an Editors and Broadcasters day even by the School of Communication. We talked to a lot of people. When she got back, she went to her boss, the editor, Mike Jacobs, and told him all of the measures would fail. That is, the recalls would succeed (a no vote), and the two initiatives would fail. He said nope, not possible.

    The day after the election, the banner headline, in about 72-point type, said:


    It perfectly summed up the vote of the people.

  4. Lyn Jerde says:

    Then there was the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s infamous headline about Gov. Tommy Thompson’s veto. It was supposed to say, “Thompson’s pen is a sword,” but there was no space between words two and three.

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