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A "breaking" issue

I thought it was just the general ignorance of the hoi polloi, but in an AP article written about the NASCAR race yesterday, AP writer Dan Gelston wrote that driver Bubba Wallace crashed hard after losing his breaks (sic). Is there any hope for the English language when journalists can’t even spell correctly?

How do you know that his editor didn’t make that mistake by “correcting” brakes?

I don’t; in my mind that would be ever worse.

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Of the dozen or so places I have published, only three have (or had) editors. All were/are outstanding and have helped me a lot with my grammar and other aspects of writing. AP does employ editors. I just looked. So, in fact, the editor did miss it. I doubt they changed it, but you never know. We expect more from the big names in publishing and media.

I get the impression that if the word in included in spell check it is good to go! Have you checked a publisher for proofreaders? I’m guessing they are a rare breed.

Speaking as an ex-journalist, if you want journalists to be better at writing, try paying them more so that you attract better people to the profession and don’t lose the good people to other professions.

My city’s paper has atrocious grammatical and spelling errors, but its journalists are also paid an average salary that’s nearly 10 grand below the guy driving their delivery truck.

Seeing as the job of journalists is to find stuff out, it stands to reason they’re going to find that out, and then wonder why they bothered going to college and getting a degree to qualify them to be paid significantly less than the guy who started driving right out of high school.

You can’t offer $38,000 a year (that’s average, not starting) in a large city and expect to get Hemingway.

An example of “feak news”?

It is because there are lots and lots of journalism major graduates for a shrinking pool of jobs.

Simple “supply and demand.” Failing newspapers don’t need to and can’t pay much more than $38K a year.

Sure. Now. Journalism pay has been crap for decades unless you went into TV and became an anchor (and even that’s gotten worse, though they’re still paid handsomely compared to the ones doing the actual reporting).

Seems like to be successful in journalism these days and make any money, you need a voice for radio or a face for TV. No one seems to want to read anymore, just watch videos or listen to podcasts.

While I agree if you paid more you could expect more, really though even in high school Journalism class, we would have gotten a red “F” making a mistake like that. So even if you hired high school kids, you should expect better.

I’ve told this before but I still like it. I emailed the editor of our local paper on a back to school ad in the paper. “Back to School Break Special” on their car-hilarious. She was able to change it so it never made the print version.

Newspapers have become total crap for exorbitant prices. I still enjoy reading print books and magazines. I had problems reading them online until I acquired a 24 inch 16:9 flat screen monitor. My TV is a 36" 16:9 flat screen viewed from 8 feet. Perfect for me. I have friends with 60 inch TVs viewed from 8 feet. Like showing up late and having to sit front row center at the theater. A sore neck from having to constantly scan the screen to see everything!

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Yeah, so you can hardly read any online news anymore, the bandwidth is totally consumed by an accompanying video feed of the story.

What bugs the heck out of me is this propensity to write verbatim what someone said in a tweet and follow it up with an image of the actual tweet. It’s one or the other, we don’t need to see both!


Anyone remember the ads and road signs that used to show up around back-to-school time:

“Give 'em a brake!” ?

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+1 all day long! YES! One of my pet peeves when using a tablet or phone to read a simple article!

You must mean USA Today. I think they show the tweet as verification that it occurred. Repeating it in the story helps with flow. It works for me. They also provide links to corroborating information to show an alternate source for the info. I don’t read the tweets, just the story.

As for newspapers being crap, maybe yours is, but I have a choice of two good papers here - the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post.

I do too, but all too often the books display an absence of editing and/or proofreading.
One of the books that I read recently was a “people’s history” of NYC. While I did enjoy reading a lot of factoids that were new to me, I didn’t enjoy the constantly changing spelling of a historical person’s name in the chapter about him/her. If that person was mentioned… let’s say… 15 times, his/her name was spelled correctly about 8 times, and the other 7 mentions of his/her name were misspelled.

How does one publish a book with wildly varying spelling for a person’s name within the space of… maybe… 4 pages?

A friend of mine was recently pulling his hair out while reading a novel that was set in the '50s. Aside from the author’s placement of some '60s events in the '50s, perhaps the most glaring error was the author’s claim that his protagonist was driving a '55 Mustang!

There are excellent newspapers all over the country. I read mainly the Boston globe. The only real newspaper in NH is the Union Leader…and it is so bad. Written like a 3rd grader wrote it. It’s so poorly written. I’ve read paragraphs over and over again - just trying to understand what the reporter was trying to say. Any articles from the news services - they just cut and paste and I have no problem with them. Just the local stories.

Sorry but I have found USA Today to be the worst electronic version around for me anyway. I always buy the paper version when traveling but can’t stand the electronic version. Regardless, I look at the by-line of the articles in the print papers and there are three that I won’t even bother to go beyond the first paragraph they are so bad. Usually that’s half of the paper though. All the articles generated by a couple mass media and the wire service.

While we’re off topic, the scary part is that 90% of the media is owned by only six corporations. Bruce Williams talked about the legislative change some years ago and what it was doing to the programming and he was right. Needs to be broken up again.

My Mother in law loves faux news, here have a lemonade, Have a bud, bought her daughter a Focus, 5 times the clutch has been replaced, and going on 60k. At least the dealers have done it under warrantee.