Danville Express

Perspective - December 28, 2007

Those pesky errors

When we make a mistake in the Danville Weekly, we move quickly to correct it. So please let us know when you spot errors. This not only lets us know we made a mistake so we can correct it, but keeps us from repeating it.

The fast pace of daily newspapers and news services around the world results in many errors, and the resulting corrections have almost become an art form. The Web site www.regrettheerror.com wraps up the year's best corrections each December.

Sometimes the error is due to a reporter not hearing correctly. For instance, this in the Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.): "Due to a reporting error, a story on Page A2 in Saturday's edition of the New Hampshire Union Leader misquoted University of New Hampshire employee Bernardine Schultz. She said Professor John Collins was prone to giving students 'easy A's,' not that he had 'lazy aides.'"

The New York Times received the award for Most Delayed Correction: "A caption on June 8, 1944, with a photograph of Army officers at mess on the Pacific front, misspelled the given name of the first officer seated at the left side of the table. He was Col. Girard B. Troland of New London, Conn. - not Gerand. The error was called to the attention of the editors by his grandson yesterday."

The Guardian had this: "We misspelled the word misspelled twice, as mispelled, in the Corrections and clarifications column on September 26, page 30."

The Chicago Tribune corrected a widespread urban myth: "An item in the Sunday Magazine referred to a popular but unfounded notion that Eskimos have dozens of words for snow, in this case 40. The item failed to note that the assertion has been debunked by linguists and others."

A numerical error ran in The Hindu: "A report … stated that actor Elizabeth Hurley will wear 'a 4,000-pound sari by designer Tarun Tahiliani' during her wedding in March. While one reader wondered how she would be able to lift the 1,800 kg sari, another reader said there are possible fears about the bride being reduced to pulp by its weight. It was an error. The word "pound" was used instead of the currency symbol for pound sterling (£)."

The Guardian has its decade-long reader's editor Ian Mayes retire this year, having dealt with 90,000 complaints and 14,000 corrections. He was lauded for making simple corrections amusing. Such as: "We referred to the £250,000 advance for Vikram Seth's prize-winning novel, 'A Suitable Buy.' Although undoubtedly worth every penny, the book is actually called 'A Suitable Boy'"

Lastly we have the following to say: Our Dec. 7 issue had a story about a Caltrans engineer speaking to the San Ramon Rotary about the three-week rebuilding of the 580-880 interchange when in fact he spoke to the Danville Rotary. We regret the error.


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