In a week of processing copy, I spotted this in a Daily Mail story:
‘Then there were other non-essential tasks such as watering plants and
sorting out the sock draw which suddenly became urgent priorities
ahead of the essential task they really should be concentrating on.’
Thing is, you reorganise your sock drawER, not your sock draw.
Looked at in context, it’s possible that the mistake was contained in
the original statement from the source of the story, and somehow
slipped past the usually excellent Mail subbing system.
Moral of the story: just because it’s in an email from someone else,
doesn’t mean it’s right.
* First published on Grubstreet
In my years as a sub-editor on South African newspapers, and as a trainer, I wrote some training materials. Below is one that’s intended as a one-page guide to the basic legal rules applying to SA journalism. It was first published on my sister Gill Moodie’s site Grubstreet:
I mis-spelt a word on Twitter today – conumdrum, instead of conundrum. Not the end of the world, and in the Twitter flow no one but me noticed (I hope). But it makes me unhappy when I get things wrong (especially when I do know the right spelling). And that is one of the foundations of editing, I guess: the striving to make things right.