Musings: I Hate Mistakes in Articles

Yeah, mistakes in professional articles really annoy me. I mean, I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to typos, but I try to edit my stuff before posting and when I spot a mistake or incorrect fact, I go back and fix it immediately. My goal is to catch the egregious stuff before it goes live and then I worry about the minor stuff as it pops up. Hey, I’m not a grammarian, but I try to be professional. And this is just a blog — no one is paying me to do this.

The 24/7 news cycle combined with sloppy writers and editors who are apparently missing in action mean online articles routinely “go to press” filled with bad writing and typos. Unfortunately, it happens a lot, even on reputable sites. I was just reading an article on MSN (however, there is a Reuters’s copyright mark for the photo, so maybe they’re responsible) about an unfortunate American swimming champion and this is the first line of the story:

“Olympic swimming champion Nathan Adrian revealed he has testicular champion…”

I bet he wishes he did. Instead, he has testicular cancer, which is far more of a bummer. (Having a testicular champion — well, that would be weird and let’s not go there.)

Nathan Adrian, Olympic swimming champ with medal
Wishing Nathan Adrian a successful recovery.

How can you not get the first fucking line of the story right? (Pardon my outrage, but this annoys me). I’m not sure how quickly journalists are banging these stories out, but does no one use an editor these days? Or are writers given grammar software to run their story through and wished good luck?

Come on, man. At least underpay some poor grad student to Grammar Nazi it. You safeguard your credibility as a news organization and the grad student gets to feel superior to the hacks he disdains. Win-win.

As Eric Hartmann, a former co-worker of mine commented on Facebook: “Modern journalism, at its best, is a dumpster fire.”

Sadly, he’s right. (I’m not even getting into the blatant bias exhibited by so many so-called news organizations. Or the off-the-cuff reporting. And the lack of effort to verify dubious incendiary “facts” through multiple sources. That’s a rant for a different day. But I mourn the ongoing demise of responsible journalism). Are we creating a generation where excellence just doesn’t matter anymore and they never improve because no one holds their feet to the fire? Where the incompetent thrive because no one weeds them out and they pass their bad standards to the next generation?

Anyway, I had to get this off my chest and I got to crank out something for my Musings page (which I may ditch as it’s underutilized and probably ill-conceived). I’ll try to finish one of my ‘real’ posts next week.

By the way, I’m going to keep checking back to see if anyone ever fixes the error in that story.

Okay, folks, it’s Friday and the weekend is almost here (woo hoo!) Hope you enjoy yours!

*Bonus points — Find my typos and any major errors and let me know. Of course, I make lots of minor grammar mistakes (believe me, the Houseguest lets me know about them), so that might be too easy.

Photo credit. Reuters

16 thoughts on “Musings: I Hate Mistakes in Articles

      1. Or Liberating — bots do the grunt work – and humans get to do the thinking/analysis/fixing. The sad part of journalism is lack of business model for most. Good news is that Washington Post, Boston Globe are figuring out how to get value in high level – investigative reporting.


  1. I share your rage. I have bought books that have never been edited. They have terrible errors, not just typos but also translation errors that could have been avoided if the publishers had bothered to pay a good translator and a good editor.


  2. It must be annoying, especially since you’re in their line of work. Ugh! Please don’t go back and check my posts! As it’ll annoy me! 😏 I’m kidding 🥰
    I agree though! At least go back and check the first line, at least.


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