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News & views

Proofreading mistakes – ortum harvest

[5 Nov 2014] It’s been a good autumn for proofreading errors, the pesky blighters.  

To the Daily Telegraph on 16 Sept for a headline about news of the Scottish referendum vote: ‘Expect a result over beakfast.’ This could have been a crossword clue, eg swift’s first meal of the day (8 letters).

On 7 Sept, in the Sunday Telegraph: ‘She [Muriel Messel] wrote a “Flora Brittanica” with a forward by Robinson.’ Eek: that would be ‘foreword’.

On 12 Oct, the Mail on Sunday reported Naomi Campbell’s tweet to her friend Malalah Yousafzai on winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which also went to the model’s 249,000 other Twitter followers: ‘Congratulations malaria on your #noble[sic]peaceprize #2014.’ Her later apology left pedantic punctuators spluttering, too: ‘Darlings my iPhone and I are at odds it seems I type a word it seems to spit out another, forgive me.’

On 6 Oct, the tennis player Andy Murray wished his terpsichorean mother Judy good luck with her ‘performance on STD’, an acronym for ‘sexually transmitted disease’, rather than ‘SCD’ (Strictly Come Dancing).

Stateside, the Chicago-based United Airlines was reported in the Daily Mail on 8 Oct as having sent a letter to a disgruntled customer, Chris Chmura, that started with the salutation ‘Mr Human’ and then referred to him twice more as ‘Mr Human’. What? An airline that thinks its customers are, in fact, human beings and not sardines or cattle?

Speaking of a visit to India’s new Prime Minister by President Xi Jinping of China, a hapless late-night newsreader on India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan referred to him as ‘Eleven Jinping’. As reported in the Daily Telegraph on 20 Oct, the station’s chief executive seemed unimpressed by her knowledge of roman numerals, coining a fine new adjective for ‘sacked’: ‘Please take note: DD (Doordarshan) News Anchor who mispronounced Chinese President’s name has been disengaged.’

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