An editor’s rant: it’s a typo not an attempted murder

There going to happen folks.

Idea for circulation promotion at The Similkameen Spotlight: purchase your subscription and receive a free red pen suitable for circling grammatical errors or poking yourself repeatedly in the eye.

Lord save the business from retired schoolteachers.

As you may have gathered, a couple of typos in the newspaper have been brought to the editor’s attention recently.

Not sure if that means we are being unusually careless, or if more people are reading the paper, or if there is just no one else to pick apart on Facebook.

Some people take an unhealthy measure of glee when it comes to pointing out a spelling or punctuation error in a newspaper.

It’s even worse when the mistake is on the paper’s website – and mistakes are made increasingly online by everyone in the business owing to the unique nature of “the deadline is now.”

In those cases it’s just too tempting for many commenters to resist snide, sarcastic and even hurtful jibes.

Cripes. It’s a typo not an attempted murder.

Those readers are like my teenage sons, who love nothing better than to catch Mom out in a casual remark that reveals unintended gender bias. They also watch my face closely when Family Guy is on television, hoping to see it involuntarily twitch at some inappropriate joke.

Yes, we make mistakes.

Last week for example a story about staffing problems within the town’s water department stated that water quality was not “comprised” by the situation.

That’s embarrassing.

Of course it’s nothing compared to noting that the local high school used to resort to capital punishment…as opposed, of course, to the corporal variety.

Been their done that.

Have also, at various times, discussed the bear facts, reported on an election pole, taken a photo at a Christmas bizarre and covered a pubic meeting.

But it’s not as if we don’t know better, or that we do it on purpose.

Fact is there are tens of thousands of words in the paper every week and the law of large averages demands some of them be wrong.

The shame is so public, and explains in part why my column photo is eight years old and looks more like my younger and more-together sister, who was never actually born.

(The other reasons are, naturally, the teenage sons.)

There are days when one doesn’t like to venture too far from the office without a bag to pull over the head in case of emergency.

Nothing beats standing in line for coffee and having someone turn around and snap: Who proofreads your paper?

It’s rather satisfying to look that person up and down, slowly, and respond:

Who picks out your clothes?

For the record The Spotlight has a pretty efficient proofreader, however her identity is concealed under the witness protection program.

So they’re you go.

Gosh that was fun.

(And yes, all mistakes in this column where intentional. You can’t prove otherwise.)

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