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Every Time a Major News Outlet Makes a Typo, an Angel Gets Her Wings

I love it when the big boys of the journalism world make little typos - not because the typos are egregious or even funny, but because they help me put my own skills in perspective. So here's a headline from the main page at today's LATimes.com:

"A Boston University medical student charged in the hotel slaying of a masseuse and the robbery of a another preyed on women he found through Craigslist and investigators are looking for other possible victims, authorities said."

When I was city editor at a community newspaper, I assumed I stunk. Little typos like "a another" would get past me all the time. I was always apologizing to reporters for letting those boo-boos appear under their names.

I had no idea.

The place I worked at was very low-budget (think: full-time, work-their-butts-off reporters making $425 a week). So there weren't many layers of editors - usually just me and a lone overworked copy editor. Sometimes just me.

Now I freelance at a better-funded place. And now I know. Every piece that goes to print is edited in the computer twice then proofread on the page by at least two different people. No fewer than four people read each story. And this is marketing copy - not even the serious editorial stuff in which typos are most taboo.

I don't know how many layers of proofing/editing the Los Angeles Times now applies to its Web headlines. (Hell, these days they're lucky they can afford those little pads and pens for their remaining reporters.) But I'm sure they still have a decent number of people trolling for these types of boo-boos.

Yet some still get through.

Ipso facto: Maybe I didn't stink so bad after all.

5 Comment count
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Maybe you didn't stink so

Maybe you didn't stink so bad a after all.

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I think sometimes the eye

I think sometimes the eye sees what it is expecting to see. It's a very human thing.

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i didn't see it

There's a "brain teaser" out there that plays on this tendency of the brain to make things make sense, and it totally stumped me until someone else pointed out the duplicate word. (I think it placed a line break between the repetition.) Give yourself a break, June. You were doing the job of four people all by yourself! : )

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Thank you all!

And, yes, Evie, that whole

I love
Paris in the
the Spring

thing sure is an interesting dynamic of the brain!

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To air is human

Yes, the little mistakes keep us all grounded.