Thursday, October 13, 2016

Can you imagine a Reuters copy editor not knowing the difference between "it's" and "its"?

Last evening I spotted a typo in a caption for a picture accompanying a story on the Reuters website. So I scrolled down to the "Corrections" tab and wrote this message:

Rd Prabhu, Oct 12, 10:02 PM SGT:
The Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled virtual assistant, is seen at it's product launch for Britain and Germany in London, Britain, September 14, 2016. REUTER/Peter Hobson
That is the caption for a photograph accompanying a Reuters story about Amazon's new music service. "'s product launch"? That should be "...its product launch".

Shortly afterwards I received this automated response:

Ticket #78452: Mistake in caption


Thank you for contacting Reuters Online Support. Your request (#78452) has been received, and is being reviewed by our support staff.

To view responses to Frequently Asked Questions, visit our Knowledge Base.[link Knowledge Base to ]

We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Kind regards,

The Team
And when I took a look at the story again, the error had been corrected:

Is it any wonder that a Google search for "its vs it's" throws up more than 13 million results?


An e-mail interaction with author Mardy Grothe —  It all depends on the telling, sure. But surely who does the telling matters?