3/16/2008

This error gets Mr. Rewrite's Irish up

Top o' the morning to ya. Mr. Rewrite has been a wee bit lazy as he enjoys this new luxury called spring break. He's fallen behind on the Eliot Spitzer Misspellings Meter (TM) and will rectify that in a bit. But first Mr. Rewrite wants to remind the Irish at heart and particularly those paid to know better that Monday is St. Patrick's Day, not St. Patricks Day. This one's easier than Presidents'/Presidents Day, Veterans'/Veterans Day or Valentine's (not Valentines/Valentines') Day because the "St." at the beginning should help establish that we're talking about one saint named Patrick. The media do pretty well with St. Patrick's Day, but a Google News search still turns up a couple hundred erroneous references to St. Patricks Day. (NOTE: Mr. Rewrite borrowed the photo above from some nameless site to illustrate his point. Thank you, Google Images.)

Here's everything else that's piled up in Mr. Rewrite's virtual mailbox:

1) Eliot Spitzer has peaked far from the top spot on Mr. Rewrite's ranking of the Most Misspelled Names in the News (TM). While Mr. Rewrite was wasting time over Spring Break, Spitzer's first name was misspelled nearly 500 times on Google News as Elliot and Elliott. He's in the low 400s today. Mr. Rewrite will miss you, Eliot Spitzer. Had you moved on to Washington, you'd have owned the Most Misspelled list.

2) Relatives of a soldier killed in the Vietnam War are fighting to have his name spelled correctly on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sgt. Cary Stiler of Hindsville, Ark., is on the wall as Gary, reflecting the incorrect spelling of his name in military records.

3) In response to a letter from a red-hot reader, the Eastern Arizona Courier apologizes for misspelling "proven" and "voice" in a political candidate's advertisement. An editor's note acknowledges the ad was correct as submitted and blames a proofreading error.

4) NASA's administrator says he's a grammar stickler, to the point of faulting the split infinitive in Star Trek's "to boldly go where no man has gone before." Man, this guy is tough. Even Mr. Rewrite doesn't complain about Captain Kirk's split infinitive.

5) Some high school teachers in Baltimore complain about spelling and grammar errors on benchmark assessment tests. [FOLLOWING UP: Tom in Texas notes that the article linked in this item misspells Emily Dickinson -- yikes.]

6) Please join Mr. Rewrite in following the 2008 Typo Hunt Across America, which has a devoted band documenting misspellings as they go. The blog has some naughty language, but the pictures are fun.

7) Don't miss this Minneapolis Star Tribune item simulating a presidential debate about punctuation and grammar.

8) Mr. Rewrite is pleased that an article announcing Halle Berry's blessed arrival clarifies that she gave birth to a baby girl. He'd worried the actress would bring forth a teenage girl. This is one of Mr. Rewrite's most annoying redundancies. If someone gives birth, by definition she's had a baby. Just say it's a boy or girl in this construction.


1 comment:

Thomas Fowler said...

The article linking in No. 5 misspells the name of Emily Dickinson. There's just no end....