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!