Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A is for AP Accidents

Welcome to my first blog post. In this new adventure in editing, I will attempt to tie-in editing mistakes in the news with my new-found editing knowledge. And now after reading that last sentence, I will attempt to not use the word editing more than once in sentence.

Okay, so last week I was checking the Associated Press for news updates to see what was going on in the world. A story that caught my eye, sadly, detailed a man in Los Angeles who killed his entire family and then himself. The reporter stated that the man and his wife had just lost their jobs and did not want anyone to take care of their children. It is so heartbreaking to see those in desperation choose death instead of trying to face their problems. I am not being critical at all, because I have no idea what kind of pain that they must have been feeling. I just wish that things like this never happen.

As I was reading, the story went on to note other similar occurrences. My sadness continued as I read each case, until I came to the third paragraph from the end. Another murder, but in this case it was about a man's "ex-wire" and her eight relatives. Now I can't be 100 percent certain, but I believe the writer meant to say "ex-wife." Now the f and the r are very close to each other on the keyboard, and wire is a word and correctly spelled, but a quick re-read might have picked this up. I know our minds are wonderful things and they interpret many words even when misspelled, or spelled correctly, but last time I checked, marrying a wire was not legal in any state ... and I know California is pretty liberal. Please note that my cynicism is only for the editing error and not at all towards the horrific nature of the article. The article is still uncorrected as you can see by the link. also has a piece where the AP missed the mark on a story about a man who found out he had a brain tumor. The story first ran stating that he found out "he had a brain." Yes, the omission is an accident, but the sad nature of the story is lost.

Dear AP,

We look up to you. We buy your books and follow your style.

Thank you for letting us know you are human after all.


Meanwhile I'll leave you with a thought. Were you that kid in school who looked for copy errors in your textbooks for extra credit? If so, I think we'll have a fun trip from A to Z, if not, it's never too late to join the editing debate. :o)

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