Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Write to Fit

In the old days, stories too long for the space allotted were cut from the bottom , giving rise to the tradition that reporters organize information in what came to be known as the inverted pyramid. Give the important stuff first (the 5-W lede), with details to follow. Today's headline on the Dear Abby column is an perfect example. The word "etiquette" is too long for the space. Cut off the end, all those repetitive "t's," and voila! a fit!


  1. Unbelievable.
    Not unbelievable that it happens. Mistakes happen — but with SCMG it is constant.And tell me the proofreader, if there is one, missed this. If their was a proofreader who missed this then SCMG should put an ad in for a real proofreader. Problem is the real proofreaders who lost their jobs at newspapers, couldn't afford to give up their $10 an hour wage at Mickey D's to come work for less at SCMG.

  2. Dear Abby is a breeding ground for typos. The classic Gondolier headline regarding a rabbi read "Oy Vet." As has been stated here before, headlines for Abby are provided by the wire service, so they are being retyped -- badly -- and of course no one is proofing them.

  3. What the company needs are actual copy editors, not proofreaders. However, they'd have to actually pay copy editors since they can actually edit. SCMG is just getting what it pays for.