Tag Archives: embarrassing

Strip search finds crack between buttocks


A gift of a story for the sub-editor generates another classic naughty headline, this time courtesy of WYFF4 television station in South Carolina (via Common Sense Journalism). Did this make the TV news too? Would love to have seen the anchor deliver the line.

Starting to gather quite a collection of rude heads – see Top 10 rudest headlines in the world ever, possibly from the hyperbolic list era of 2008, and some more recent headline funnies.

Girls’ school still offering ‘something special’ – head


Fantastic! Can’t believe I missed this one but I shall belatedly add this to my list of naughtiest headlines. Did the sub know? Or is it a classic blooper? It’s been  fixed for the online edition but the lovely internet has already archived a scan of it and sent it around the world. (It was sent to me by an Aussie journalist friend who saw it in The Australian.)

Reminds me of the time I left a reporter’s headline on a music review and got roundly told off on delivery day for ‘Sweet folk all’.  You can read the story of that in my post on the Top 10 rudest headlines in the world ever, possibly.

Storking the typo-makers

You can publish then edit all you like but, beware, the original may still be ‘out there’ – and there are people willing to spot it, tweet it, snap it, blog it and generally announce it to the world. Like this one from Tom Ackroyd who took a snapshot of a 3News headline typo tonight (since corrected) and uploaded it to Twitpic before tweeting me:

Too heavy for the stalk: newborn weighs in at 6.4kg

Beauty. It makes me think fondly of all those job adverts for sub-editors asking for the ‘ability to spot a literal at 50 paces’.

Even funnier is that the original 50-pace typo spotter uknzguy has pointed out that the error has been immortalised in the URL.

Note to self:  check my permalinks! Thank Buddha, there’s an edit function in WordPress for just this kind of cock-up.

Not so hot sub-editing from The Star

Subs, get your woolly bras and panties on. The Daily Star appears to have been concentrating a little too hard on the snow-covered mounds of their busty Santa lady pic today for they have the UK facing a ‘Day After Tomorrow’ weather catastrophe:

BRITS should brrrrace themselves for a big chill in the New Year with weathermen warning temperatures could plunge as low as minus 130C.

Don’t worry though, they’ve then given us a tropical heatwave by day with ‘maximum daytime temperatures… between 20C and 40C’.

Positively balmy. Thanks to @bobbiejohnson for the Twitter tip-off.

Extra zeroes anyone? Subs? Anyone?

PS The degree symbol is under ‘insert symbol’ in Word on PC and something like shift alt 9 on Macs.

‘My tornado hell’, my red pen heaven

My Tornado Hell (revisited) – I can’t quite believe this now classic 2006 feature, about a windy day in Kensal Rise, went past the Evening Standard’s subs’ desk unscathed. Maybe the copy editors didn’t know where to start. Either that or writer Caroline Phillips has got mates high up.

…vomiting clementines, speared American walnut floating shelves, non-demurring loss adjustors called Simon, primal screams and a brilliant trauma specialist therapist, all wrapped up in a windy metaphor triple decker sandwich.

Best thing I’ve read in ages. Someone send Caroline to a war zone, please.

Here’s the follow-up: Tornado Alley, the final fallout
And the Mumsnet thread, featuring my favourite comment from Unquiet Dad who’s cast My Tornado Hell: the movie with Jude Law starring as THE ASSESSOR

Confessions of a Twitterer

Writer Matt Hill posted this a couple of days ago on microblogging service, Twitter:

So I wrote ‘little bastard’ instead of ‘child’ on some web copy; mainly for the amusement of a proofreader. Who missed it. I’m in trouble.

Funny but I am well and truly shocked. Are there really proofreaders on the web?

Video check for eagle-eyed copy editors

Bit of fun for subs and copy editors who are always asked to do things like ‘spot a literal at 50 paces’. Well, how good are you? I hold my hands up to say I failed at this ‘test your awareness’ video on YouTube. How will you do?

PS You’ll need the sound on to check your answer!

Embarrassing checks 2

Checking a feature on the hot new exercise regime du jour for Women’s Health in Australia (as was):

‘Hi, we’re doing a feature on pilots, can I check a few of the details through with you?’

Such as how to pronounce Pi-la-tes, presumably… Oh come on, we’ve all done it!