Worst headline foul-ups

November 12, 2003

Array of them revealed at Testy Copy Editors. Even the mighty Blanp has some doozies. I also liked this comment.

I find that it’s usually the most productive, strap-the-newspaper-on-their-back copy editors who make these shockingly embarrassing mistakes. That’s because they’re accepting the most opportunities to make mistakes day after day. It’s the same way in baseball: the guy who makes the most errors isn’t the worst fielder; he’s the guy who gets to the most batted balls. The worst fielder is the guy who doesn’t make a lot of errors but stands in the same place all the time and doesn’t go after the hard hits. We’ve all worked with copy editors like that. The only way to avoid making mistakes is to do absolutely nothing.

I don’t really have any bad headline stories to report — must be I’m not productive enough — but this thread did remind me of something that happened when I worked at the Tampa Trib: I was in the backshop checking pages and noticed a hilarious faux pax on a jumphead for a story about people who abuse their bodies by depriving themselves of a good night’s sleep.

Sleeplessness from self-abuse, expert says

To which one of the backshop guys said, “yeah, that always keeps me up nights.”

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