People who know me, know that I love to pillory the local paper, The Times & Transcript. I have a long-standing challenge with myself to find a spelling error in every issue, and I have never failed. Often the mistakes are ones that spellcheck would catch (which makes be doubly curious as to how they get through), but not always. Consider this scan. The reporter is “weary of the possibility…” In case you think I may have doctored the image, the story is online here, with the offending sentence about 3-quarters of the way down, in the paragraph beginning, “Of all the Kamikaze…”
Give me a freakin’ break. This guy is a professional reporter, for God’s sake. I can handle spelling errors – I figure they’re simply slips or typos by people who really know better. But this guy actually believes that “weary” means “wary.”
I’m not immune. For many years growing up I had my own misconceptions: I thought fiery was pronounced fear-ee; and I knew all about the “dawn kwicks-oat” that tilted at windmills. And I’m sure I still have similar holes in my knowledge. But I’m not getting paid to write. This guy is. He should be held to a higher standard. And, when I do produce something professionally, I get it proofed. Often twice. By smart people. Who know how to spell wary.
Isn’t that what editors are supposed to do?
Couple of funny things related to this: the photo of my friend Tom and a real sign in Hong Kong at the bottom of this page. And Stuff White People Like. The very fact that I care about grammar (white person thing #99) enough to blog about it is certainly proof that I qualify. As my Péquiste friends in Montréal would say, “He’s so Wonder-bread-and-mayonnaise, he probably gets out of the shower to take a leak!”