Public minus the ‘l’

May 19, 2004

And why it’s every copy editor’s nightmare.

5 Responses to Public minus the ‘l’

  1. Mike on May 19, 2004 at 12:09 pm

    I report for a trade newspaper about public broadcasting. As you might expect, I appreciated this link. We have all too many opportunities to fudge this, and it has happened. Anyone for some pubic radio?
    Nice site, btw.

  2. SR on May 19, 2004 at 1:34 pm

    Or how about “pubic safety”? I once let that go in a letter to the editor from the Supervisor of a township we report on. The copy desk didn’t even catch it. The only reason it didn’t get printed as “pubic safety millage” is that the supervisor called to ask if we’d caught the typo.

  3. Jay Small on May 21, 2004 at 2:42 pm

    Greetings from a fellow Saluki and DE alum!
    This reminds me of one of my favorites, more a composition error than an editor’s typo. I think this was in the Green Bay newspaper, when Tommy Thompson was still governor of Wisconsin. The story was about his use of line-item vetoes to whack the state’s budget.
    What the headline meant to say:
    “Thompson’s pen is a sword”
    But in paste-up (remember that?), the space between “pen” and “is” was left, well, lacking.
    I don’t need to say any more, do I?

  4. The Sanity Inspector on May 21, 2004 at 6:42 pm

    Back when the classified ads were mostly done over the phone, some good howlers would show up there. Pity the poor man who fixed up his vehicle, and then saw it advertised as being “neat as a pen”. But doubtless the man whose truck had a “wench” on the front sold it very quickly.

  5. Sheila Lennon on May 24, 2004 at 11:52 am

    True story: When I was 12, the school nurse passed out a little booklet to the girls titled, “Growing up and liking it.” It had diagrams and text, and I soberly misread a key sentences as,”This is referred to as your public area.”
    Little editor-to-be me puzzled over that one, thinking there couldn’t be a worse name for it.
    And now I work at, which is easily mistyped as, which is a porn site. I have inadvertently sent readers there too often.