The story: Bernie Sanders campaign, DNC reach voter data deal (msnbc.com 12-18-15)
The mistake: “But just before Sanders and the DNC were set to appear at hearing related to the lawsuit, the two parties struck a deal.”
The Copy Vigilante says: Once again we have a word missing from a sentence in a major news story on a news organization’s website. Granted it’s a small word, “a”, but it’s missing nonetheless. Sigh. If wrote sentence missing word words would ugly, right?! (Fill in the missing words and get a gold star from the Copy Vigilante!)
Here are some of the Copy Vigilante’s favorite books: Philip K. Dick –
The Cosmic Puppets, Kurt Vonnegut – Player Piano: A Novel and Bernard Cornwell – Sharpe’s Eagle (Richard Sharpe’s Adventure Series #2).
The story: American in Cuban prison: ‘Get me the hell out of here’ (msnbc.com 4-20-12)
The mistake: “Alan Gross: Get me the hell out of here” (It’s in the caption in the video.)
“Get me the hell out of here,” Brian Gross said… (It’s in the second paragraph of the body copy.)
The Copy Vigilante says: What’s in a name? Everything! If you can’t get the name of the subject of the article right, why should I believe anything else in the article? And I certainly should not have to google this person to find out his actual name!
The story: Will source of Whitney Houston’s cocaine be revealed? (msnbc.com 3-26-12)
The mistake: “She also referred to him as a “runner boy,” meaning he bought cocain and supplied it to Houston.”
The Copy Vigilante says: The word “cocaine” appears five times in this story, including the headline. It’s not a terribly difficult word to spell but msnbc.com missed the silent ‘e’ in the above sentence. Sigh, another misspelled word in a major news story. Ugly.
The story: Bernanke warns of possible European ‘contagion’ (msnbc.com 3-20-12)
The mistakes: “Although progress has been made, more needs to be done,” Bernanke says. He recommends strengthening the European banking and taking steps to boost the continents economy.
The Copy Vigilante says: Here are two bad copyediting mistakes in the same paragraph. Bernanke recommends strengthening the European banking what? If Europe is on the brink of taking down our economy I’d like to know what we could do to prevent that! And we’re not talking about plural “continents” but the possessive “continent’s” and it sure would be nice if the msnbc.com writer and editor understood that.
The story: How to enjoy your daily meat without killing yourself (msnbc.com 3-12-12)
The mistake: “A new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health suggests consuming a higher amount of red meat can increase death risk from all causes and from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
The Copy Vigilante says: Regarding the headline, the great Homer J. Simpson wouldn’t bother reading this article. He would just think, “Mmm, daily meat.” Ok, the headline did do its job though so I clicked on it to read further. I was astonished to read the line about eating a lot of red meat increasing my “death risk from all causes.” Did the report really claim that? Did msnbc.com check this? So if I eat a lot of red meat I could die from influenza, pneumonia and the Ebola virus? Or die by getting hit by a bus?
The story: Smoking pot tied to slacking off at work (msnbc.com 2-23-12)
The mistake: Smoking pot tied to slacking off at work
The Copy Vigilante says: Here’s another one for the DUH column! And the person who wrote this headline obviously does not smoke pot. If he or she did this person would realize pot smokers slack off at everything, not just work!
The story: Chaz Bono is saving up for penis surgery (msnbc.com 1-7-12)
The mistake: “Chaz Bono is saving up for penis surgery”
The Copy Vigilante says: This headline gets a big OY VEY! It makes me laugh. It makes me cringe. And it makes me really glad I don’t have any children who might read it and ask: “Daddy, what is penis surgery?”
The story: Jackson music will live on long after the trial (msnbc.com 11-7-11)
The mistake: “Jackson music will live on long after the trial”
The Copy Vigilante says: Oh really? And I thought the world would completely forget about the KING OF POP, and never again would a nightclub or radio station play his songs, nor would we ever see Thriller again, only the greatest music video ever made, because Dr. Conrad Murray’s trial was over. This awful headline gets a massive A DUH!!!
The story: Stuntman killed on set of ‘Expendables 2’ (today.msnbc.msn.com 10-28-11)
The mistakes: “His is reportedly unconscious but in stable condition after undergoing a five-hour operation.”
“MORE: Sylvester Stallon and His ‘Expendables’ Bring Manly Men to Comic-Con”
The Copy Vigilante says: There are two big mistakes here. “His is reportedly…” Huh? What? Does anybody check this stuff before it goes online? And in a highlighted blurb/link they actually spelled Rocky’s name wrong. Rocky, people, come on now! He was the underdog everybody cheered for who later became the ass-kickin’ Rambo. Let’s just hope he doesn’t see this horrible editing mistake and decide to take some revenge on the copy desk!
Cantor says he’s concerned by ‘mobs’ at ‘Occupy Wall Street’
The mistake: “By msnbc.com’s MIchael O’Brien and NBC’s Carrie Dann”
The Copy Vigilante says: My first reaction to seeing this unnecessarily capitalized i (MIchael) was to say the name out loud in a high-pitched voice while envisioning this poor reporter looking totally nerdy with his pants pulled up way too high, causing himself to say MIchael in a high-pitched voice every time he says his own name!