Spell Check Can’t Replace Proofreaders

We have to admit we like the idea of a daily newspaper on the doorstep. We also have to lament “it ain’t what it used to be”–especially with the Daily Paper. Hope springs eternal and we still subscribe.

Sunday morning page one–they call it the “cover” these days–had a full page-wide headline proclaiming “SEXTING PROBLEM GROWS IN VALLEY.” We didn’t even read the story which was one of those Sunday features planned long in advance to get attention of readers and picked up by the local TV and radio folks who still rely on the Daily for news stories on slow weekends.

However when we got to page A4 and noticed the small headline, it really got our attention. Apparently the Sexting problem is so bad, they are having forums for College of Western Idaho candidates on the subject.

Here is the headline:

Comments & Discussion

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  1. OMG – you’ve got to love it.

  2. Hey Dave –

    Just thought I would note that the Statesman is actually picking up the sexting story from those TV folks.

    We did a story on May 19th (here: and Maggie O’Mara even blogged about it the next day (

    Also – in another (much larger) media market I used to work in, they had reporters who just read the newspaper and picked up stories – but for whatever reason, that doesn’t happen much in Boise (not never – just not much).

  3. sam the sham
    May 31, 2009, 11:08 pm

    ahhhhhhh, the Idaho Statesman…. when was it a good paper? Back in the days when there was both the morning edition and the evening? I don’t know as I was too young to read it, but I do remember that it did have the two.
    Now…. well, it speaks for itself.

  4. It’s a shame Jay Leno’s last show was Friday. This would have made the Monday “headlines” segment for sure!

  5. skooker reid
    Jun 1, 2009, 8:21 am

    When Gordon Peterson retired, quality control in the “slot” went south. He knew his language.

  6. Guardian Readers Beware! Those “pubic forums” are full of cops pretending to be teenage girls!! (Or so I’ve heard.)

    Fond memories.

    My first money-earning job was delivering the afternoon edition of the Statesman, M-F. It cost 35 cents a week. (45 cents would get you either morning or afternoon, plus the big Sunday paper.)

    At the time, there was no spell-check, other than the typesetters who manually assembled the page, character-by-character, backwards (!), using lead type. I occasionally got a glimpse of that amazing operation. (Including the vats full of bubbling molten lead, with a guy casting more characters. Yeah… the EPA would shut ’em down nowadays…)

  7. Not going to the Pubic Forum. Just a bunch of crabby folks itching to have their say.

  8. Skooker reid: Thanks for the compliment! — gp

    Yep, the pubic meetings etc. are one of the most-dreaded typos in the business.

    Another one I remember that really touched off a furor was when a story in the Sports section (which had its own reporters, copy editors, etc., separate from “news”) about the Little Britches Rodeo came out with the headline “Little Bitches Rodeo.”

    Another fun one was when The Statesman’s style for engagements announcements was “Mr. and Mrs. John Jones are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Joanne Jones. Her fiance is Jerry Smith, son of …”
    One day every one of them came out with “her finance is …”

    Most of the brides-to-be found it humorous; the “finances” thought it was hilarious; but some of the mothers of the brides-to-be were downright irate.
    No sense of humor, those women.
    (And, no, that one didn’t go through me.)

  9. I was impressed by reducing the size of the thing and then raising the price 50%…chutzpah

  10. If the police are spending time check out sexting on the computers, then doesn’t that make them guilty of child pornography?
    They have to down load it to present a case. Hummmmm maybe we ought to be prosecuting them.
    Just a thought.

  11. Are these the same police who had to watch the strip shows over and over to decide they were illegal?
    Those poor guys sure have a rough job.

  12. I’m pretty good at picking out spelling and grammar errors, but I had to look pretty hard to find the error.

    That is, if it is an error.

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