Janesville26.4°

Fun with typos

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Frank Schultz
January 10, 2012

Sometimes, spell-check won’t save you. Here are some mistakes I came across recently in my job as a local news reporter:

-- A police report about a drunken driver: “He was swearing all over the road.”

-- A news release about a natural gas leak at a college, which was due, it said, to “leaky values.” I must admit that I missed that one until an astute radio reporter pointed it out. (Thanks, Beth.) The first time I read it, I read the word that was intended: “valves.”

-- And there’s this, from a school district handout, apparently meant to explain to the public the district’s variety of educational opportunities: “Identified students in grades 4-8 have the choice to participate in our magnate school talented and gifted program.”

A magnate school would be a school for magnates, I imagine. Magnates are bigwigs, basically, especially in the business world, so a school that produces magnates would not be such a bad thing, as we need our captains of industry. But of course, the word they were going for here was “magnet.”

We must strive to be kind when coming across such mistakes, because they could happen to anyone. They have happened to the best of us.

One rule of thumb: The more words you write, the more likely you are to trip up. It’s a matter of the odds. That’s why an investment in a person who can edit is wise.

Do you have any good written mistakes you’d like to share? Yes, I’m open to hearing about zingers you might find in The Gazette.



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