Monday, March 23, 2009

How's that again?

I am absolutely convinced that the concept of "proof-reading" is rapidly becoming totally alien to American newspapers. As a result we are often treated to some very interesting errors, which are either amusing or disgusting, depending on one's reverence for the English language.

As an example, here is an interesting little tidbit from the Durham Herald-Sun. The writer, describing an upcoming basketball game, had this to say:

"The Blue Devils will take on No. 9 Michigan State (21-10), where current Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie led the program to seven highly successful seasons before coming to Durham, at 7 p.m."

Read this one aloud, then answer the following question: How does the writer know she came to Durham at 7 p.m.? Maybe she arrived there at 6:30, or maybe in the afternoon?

Yes, the commas are in the right places, but when read, this one doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How's that again?

Radio and television announcers work under pressure. Sometimes they make hilarious errors. Yesterday, I heard a radio announcer, giving the weather forecast, announce very solemnly, "The high today is expected to be only 35. Current temperature is 36."

The first time I heard this, I chuckled and thought he just misread his script. But I heard the same thing two times in the next hour. Apparently, no one at the station was listening, or bothered to change the script.