2/22/2008

Let's be clear: This is a tpyo

Barry Bonds' attorneys are seizing on what prosecutors call typos in documents supporting their case against the slugger. Here's the story. The lead:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds seized on a pair of typos, complaining in court papers Thursday that the government's mistakes could compromise his chances for a fair trial. The typographical errors showed up in a recent filing by prosecutors wrongly accusing Bonds of flunking a drug test in 2001. They later admitted they instead meant 2000.
Mr. Rewrite has a point to make, so please keep reading past the background.

The documents, entered in opposition to a motion for dismissal, referred erroneously to a drug test Bonds allegedly failed in November 2001. Prosecutors said they meant to refer to a November 2000 drug test mentioned in an indictment accusing Bonds of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Those "typographical errors" caused some media outlets to report erroneously that the government was alleging a second failed drug test, one that would have occurred right after Bonds broke the single-season home run record. Bonds' attorneys say that coverage will bias jurors. Even though the media offered corrections, the public is more likely to see the initial report than the correction, one attorney told The Associated Press.

Mr. Rewrite has no opinion on the case against Bonds or about his attorneys' claims that erroneous articles will bias jurors. But he is concerned to see this referred to simply as a case of "typos."

Regardless of whether it's caused by a typo, presenting 2000 instead of 2001 is an error. This is a tpyo.

What happened is an error of fact that prosecutors are attributing to typos. It should be reported as such. This isn't a fine point in Mr. Rewrite's world.

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