Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Red Room asked readers about the worst typo they've ever seen. In the early '70s I wrote for a local weekly newspaper. On one fateful deadline night, a reporter (not yours truly) wrote his account of a planning board meeting, and the editor rushed it through to print without giving it much of a look. But the reporter had embedded a parenthetical note to the editor, not meant for publication, mentioning a member of the public who'd attended the meeting. The gist was that the gentleman, who was named, was a loudmouth, a fool, and the town drunk. Naturally, the article was published with the private note intact, and it caused quite a commotion. The way I heard about it later, the newspaper's owner privately apologized to the man, who in turn acknowledged the basic truth of the article as printed.