The Embarrassed Management Apologizes—Again.

man_with_his_head_in_his_handsI just cleaned up about ten typos, some of them truly horrible, in the latest Sweet Briar post, which was up on the site including them for three days. The Sweet Briar grads must really think I’m illiterate. I made a note of the repaired carnage on the post, and have nominated it for a year end award, in the category of “Most Typo-Riddled Post.” Boy, I hope it wins.

Still, that’s not enough. I am thoroughly discouraged and chagrined. Thanks to diligent efforts by Ethics Alarms reader Penn and others, I have been catching typos faster of late and even refining my own, miserable proofing skills. The number of errors had been decreasing…and now this. Thus I am reprinting the following post from December of 2010 on this same topic. Back then, Ethics Alarms was averaging 600 views a day. Now the average is close to 4000 a day, meaning that the number of those literate readers inconvenienced by my incompetence every day is almost seven times greater. I’m reprinting it in part because I deserve the humiliation of knowing that I have to make the exact same apology five years later, and in part because I know there are no typos in it.

I apologize profusely for the sloppiness. I am the world’s worst proof-reader, and when I am rushing to get a post finished under a deadline, I am even worse than that. Nonetheless, this is no excuse, and readers who are kind enough to come here shouldn’t have to endure extra or missing words and illiterate spellings, most of which, by the way, are because I can’t type, though my rotten spelling doesn’t help any.

I am so grateful to those of you who continue to flag the more egregious typos for me. Finding out that an article has been hanging out there with these errors is exactly like learning that you’ve been smiling at people with a piece of spinach on your front teeth all day. So I mean it: it isn’t because I don’t care. I’m trying. Obviously I have to try harder.

27 Comments

Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Journalism & Media, Professions, Workplace

27 responses to “The Embarrassed Management Apologizes—Again.

  1. Steve

    Question: What’s the best way to point out an error or typo? There are several blogs that I read and appreciate on a daily basis where I sometimes note typos. I would like to point them out, but only in a helpful way, not a “gotcha” kind of way, as I make plenty of mistakes on my own. A recent example was when a business tweeted “Who’s ready for some …excrement” when they meant “excitement.” I wanted to let them know they might want to delete that one.

  2. Patrice

    Jack, have you tried composing your posts in Word, then doing a spell/grammar check, then cutting/pasting the whole thing into WordPress? While it is not foolproof, it would catch most of what I refer to in my own regard as “moronic” mistakes.

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Send heap, I’m badly curt…

  4. Other Bill

    The typos are just part of the deal, Jack. It’s a blog, not a brief.

  5. Other Bill

    Remember the line from “The Lawyer’s Handbook” from around 1980, the companion to “The Preppy Handbook?” “A lawyer takes his kids to the zoo and spends his time finding and pointing out typos in the plaques discussing the types of animals on display?”

  6. dragin_dragon

    As a general rule, if I read past it and understand what you meant, I assume everybody else will, too. If it’s a funny, I’ll point it out or if it changes what I think you meant. Otherwise, not. Life’s too short to waste it correcting irrelevant typo’s.

  7. joed68

    I wish I could be a quarter of the prolific and intelligent writer that you are. You pump out these posts at an incredible pace. I don’t think you have anything to apologize for.

    • fattymoon

      Agreed, Joe. I’ve been trying to pen “In Defense of Stan Rounds” (our beleaguered school superintendent). This is my third day staring at a blank page. I don’t know how Jack does it.

  8. Other Bill

    Yes, the rapidity and volume (and quality) of Jack’s work never ceases to amaze.

  9. Drawing on my considerable experience as a typo-grapher, you might consider using e.g. Typinator (http://www.ergonis.com/products/typinator/). To the extent specific typos are predictable, it solves the problem outright and in real time.
    For the record – no commercial connection.

  10. If you are willing to stop claiming that it’s all good, I’m willing to recommence telling you when it isn’t.

  11. I’m more than willing to proofread your grammatically mangled manuscripts, Jack, for a modest recompense.

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