Tuesday, March 8, 2016

We can't ignore typos in a blog post by a sub-editor, can we?

A few days ago I came across a terrific blog post titled "A day in the life of a sub-editor". Everything written in the piece spoke to me because I've been a deskman all my life. But... there were two horrible typos that ruined the article for me. So I wrote to the commissioning editor of The Walkley Foundation, the Australian organisation that publishes the blog:

Hello Clare,

This is Ramesh Prabhu, professor of journalism at a media college in Bangalore, India.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this "excerpt" from Charles Purcell's diary:

​I was a deskman for many years with newspapers in India and Dubai, so I get where he's coming from.

May I point out a couple of typos, though?

In the first paragraph​, there's this line: "...educate them into the correct use of 'myriad'."

Shouldn't that be "...educate them on the correct use of 'myriad'"?

Of course, I understand "...educate them into..." may be a colloquialism in your part of the world. But in the second paragraph there is surely a typo:

"Passenger accuses me of vandalism, until I point at that I am, in fact, a sub-editor..."

That should be "Passenger accuses me of vandalism, until I point out that I am, in fact, a sub-editor..."



Not too long afterwards, I received this e-mail from Clare:

Hi Ramesh,

Thank you for your email, it’s wonderful to know we have a reader in Bangalore. Glad you enjoyed the piece, and thank you for pointing out the typos – I knew it was only a matter of time before someone spotted something!

We’ve corrected those now.

Thanks again,

Clare Fletcher

Program Manager
The Walkley Foundation for Journalism
Commissioning Editor
The Walkley Magazine
T: +612 9333 0925 | M: +61432 616 810 | E:  |

Now I can happily recommend "A day in the life of a sub-editor" to everyone. Read it here.


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