The headline: Trump And Clinton Feast As 12 States Vote
The mistake: This awful headline!
The Copy Vigilante says: First, my apologies for the cheesy pic of the newspaper but their online headline changes often. Ugghh! This might be the worst headline ever! Since when has Super Tuesday been held on Thanksgiving?! And what are they feasting on? Voters? Voting machines? Hanging chads?
Here are some of the Copy Vigilante’s favorite books: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson – Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Pierre Boulle – Planet of the Apes and Joe Knetsch – Florida’s Seminole Wars, 1817-1858 (The Making of America)
The story: 3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran (NY Times Op-Ed 8-7-15)
The mistake: “The big question is, Why did we lose?”
The Copy Vigilante says: Actually the big question is why is why capitalized in the middle of a sentence? Another big question is why is there a comma after “is” when it’s not needed? And the biggest question is why did the editor miss this glaring, simple mistake? Why – oh why?!
Here are some of the Copy Vigilante’s favorite books: Strunk and White – The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, Stephen King – On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft and Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Omnibus.
The story: Grand Old Planet (NY Times Op-Ed 11-23-12)
The mistake: “How are we going to search effectively for natural resources if schools trying to teach modern geology must give equal time to claims that the world is only 6.000 years old?”
The Copy Vigilante says: I know you probably don’t like numbers. That’s why you’re in the writing, editing and journalism business. But still, when presenting a number in an article let’s get it right!
The story: In Search of Answers From Mr. Romney (NY Times Editorial 10-8-12)
The mistake: “…hasn’t really talked about them before.Militancy in the…”
The Copy Vigilante says: This is an easy one NY Times. A space goes after the period. And question mark, exclamation point and any other punctuation that ends a sentence. Come on now!
The story and mistake:
When the Network Effect Goes Into Reverse
The more users a social network site attracts, the more others will want to use it. But a site’s audience can decline, too. (nytimes.com 8-17-12)
The Copy Vigilante says: Really? And I thought social media sites stayed hip forever.
The story: Brought Mars to Earth With a Lyrical Mastery (nytimes.com 6-6-12)
The mistakes: Instead, he read everything he could get his hands on: Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway .
“ I’m not a serious person, and I don’t like serious people…”
The Copy Vigilante says: I think Ray Bradbury’s fascination with space got to the writer and editor of his NY Times obituary. Ahem. There should not be a space between the last word of a sentence and the punctuation, nor should there be a space between an open apostrophe mark and the word following it.
The story: Submission Guidelines for Travel Writers
The mistake: “Writers should not inclue photographs.”
The Copy Vigilante says:
I don’t have a clue what “inclue” means. I know what “include” means and it would have been nice if the editor caught this typo and included the ‘d’ to spell this word right.
And I know, it’s not really an article, it’s just their submission guidelines. But still, come on, this is the New York Times!
The story: U.S. Expected to Charge Executive Tied to Galleon Case (NY Times 10-26-11)
The mistake: “Most of the defendants charged with insider trading over the last two years have plied their trade exclusively on Wall Street.”
The Copy Vigilante says: Really?! Tell me something I don’t know. And what other street would they be plying their trade on? Sesame Street? Elm Street? K Street? (Actually yes – lobbyists are inside traders!)