No they can't get the president's name right

He's only the leader of the free world, people. So why is it so frustratingly common for media organizations and would-be media organizations, not to mention the general public, to botch the president's first name as Barak? We're talking hundreds and hundreds of misspellings on Google News.

Many of the offenders are bloggers and commenters. And Mr. Rewrite will write off a certain percentage to innocent, if inexcusable, typos. But one will find a large number of misspellings among organizations with editors on their payrolls:

The first rule of proper nouns: Look them up. The second rule of proper nouns: Look them up. Think "Fight Club" for journalists.

With this newfangled technology the kids call "the Internet," it takes just a few seconds to check a name. Here's a good place to find a reliable spelling of the president's name, for example.

BARACK Obama. Can we spell it correctly? Yes we can.


Hey, Mr. Rewrite received another comment!

Ray followed up on yesterday's bear/bare post by sharing this deliciously ambiguous headline spotted by Language Log: Days from death, Fla. wildlife officials free plastic jar that was stuck on bear cub's head. Thanks, Ray.

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