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February 3, 2003

Dept. of regrettable errors
Posted by Teresa at 05:00 PM *

From Erik Olson, a CNN blooper from day before yesterday.

Comments on Dept. of regrettable errors:
#1 ::: Paul Riddell ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 05:13 PM:

Well, _no wonder_ it had problems. Every time I get in my Neon and go that fast, I lose all sorts of parts, like the transmission, the brakes, and the carburetor...

Seriously, considering the number of people recently laid off by CNN whose job was to catch errors like that, I'm not surprised in the slightest. We're already seeing far too many Web sites and magazines that edit-by-Word-spellchecker, and proofreaders and factcheckers are considered unnecessary expenses, so why should television be any different?

#2 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 05:42 PM:


Last sentence.

They need copyeds. Badly.

#3 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 05:50 PM:

Wow, I didn't know the shuttles had Inversion drives! Musta been shot down by the Hightons.

The second one, I suspect, came when someone edited down a longer sentence and didn't check to make sure it still made sense.

#4 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 05:53 PM:

Ten years down the road, some conspiracy nut will cite this as evidence that NASA was testing a stardrive based on UFO technology.

#5 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 05:58 PM:

Just today I found an error in a Gale Research book....

And not just a minor error either. A honking great "Didn't they bother to look this up?" error that I noticed while skimming the table of contents, went to the chapter to check, and yeah, they got it flamin' wrong.

#6 ::: Greg van Eekhout ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 06:12 PM:

In Electrolite's comments, David Moles pointed to this blooper in the online edition of the Washington Post:

Shuttle Loss Puts Mir Operation in Jeopardy

#7 ::: Bill Higgins ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 06:37 PM:

I was watching MSNBC yesterday when George Stephanopoulos, on the verge of a commercial break, looked into the camera and said, "And when we return-- more from the First Woman In Space-- Sally Ride!"

I yelled at him, but he'd disappeared.

#8 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 06:53 PM:

Or the broadcaster (I think he was on NBC) who
reported that, like the Challenger, the Columbia
broke up over land...

(I don't think any of the Challenger landed on
the ground - didn't it all land in the Atlantic?)

#9 ::: Elayne Riggs ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 07:10 PM:

I saw on one of the all-news channel scrolls that parts were found as far as Lousisiana. Hey, Lou Sisiana, didn't he fix my plumbing the other day?

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 07:59 PM:

Jim -- no kidding, you found an error in a Gale Research volume? Was that before or after you opened the book?

#11 ::: Helen Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 01:23 AM:

Jim and Teresa--If it's the same error I found, it's before you open it. On the cover, in the table of contents, and in the chapter, as I recall.

I was looking forward to showing my SF professor my contribution to said volume, but he is the misspelled party.


#12 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 09:53 AM:

As a librarian I can tell you...sometimes we cringe when we have to get a Gale Research book. It's guaranteed to be screwed up, if only because nobody has ever used, in their presence, the mighty words "check your spelling!"

#13 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 11:03 AM:

At a hundred and fifty five bucks a copy, you'd think they could have hired a proofreader.

#14 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 12:48 PM:

Helen, I don't even know which Gale Research volume that is. I just have faith that it's like all the others I've seen.

#15 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 01:40 PM:

...They set out one day
In a relative way
And arrived on the previous night.

Would that it were so.

#16 ::: Arthur D. Hlavaty ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 04:03 PM:

It took writing articles myself to really get through to me that the reference books in the library are like poems, rather than trees, but, yes, there are mistakes in Gale books.

#17 ::: Helen Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 04:28 PM:

I live, I learn. :)

When The Weakest Link came out, the academic weekly I work for was sent a press kit for the show with a door-sized red duotone poster of Anne Robinson's face. Emblazoned above her scowling visage was the caption "You are the weakest link!"

You knew you'd made the big editing error when you came into work and found said poster on your door. I got robinsoned for an unfortunate misspelling of public.

#18 ::: Adina Adler ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 05:48 PM:

Erik, I'm not seeing the error in your second reference. The last paragraph reads, "Columbia disintegrated high above Texas on Saturday. It is the first shuttle to be lost since the Challenger exploded 17 years ago, almost to the day."

What's wrong with that?

#19 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2003, 12:29 AM:

They fixed it. It used to say "It is the second shuttle to be lost since the Challennger...."

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