That’s No Typo

They've since rectified the the problem, but I thought it prudent to inform the world that, by recent evidence, CNN doesn't consider literacy a requisite skill to be a journalist:

I took the screen capture yesterday afternoon. By this morning, the error had been fixed, but I still felt the need to post this because 1) I'm an English major, which might be sad, but it means I've no tolerance for English-speaking people who can't speak English, and 2) the fact it made it past CNN proofreaders means the author isn't the only guilty party. It's bad enough someone actually used "they's" in a news article in the first place, since there is positively no way to call it a typo. But for the article to go live on the 'net indicates that either CNN doesn't proof stories before they are posted – something that is widely regarded as a bad move – or they have more than one moron working for them.

Sure, I could try to convince myself it was a ready problem of our fast-paced, first-to-web society and that the CNN journalists are perfectly intelligent people who are simply overworked.

But I, too, am overworked and yet I noticed it right off. And while that was probably because I have such a close relationship with the English language, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect writers for one of the world's biggest news sources to have the same (if not better) understanding of English than I do.

And people wonder why I'm so cynical…

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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11 Responses to That’s No Typo

  1. I-Luv-Eeyore says:

    At first, I thought the writer was writing this as a verbatim quote from the police department. Then I went back and looked at it again. While sitting at a drive-thru window this past Saturday night the girl in charge of handing the food out to us said: "wha-u-ha?" We had her repeat it and it was just a repeat of strange noises that had previously been spewed in our direction. We had to ask her to repeat one more time. This time she slowed down enough that we were able to discern that she was trying to say: 'what you had'? Due to other things that also happened on our visit to that store…she no longer has a job.English: it's important to speak it and write it properly.

  2. Luke says:

    I love it when people are stupid like that :o)I've never heard of "they's" before though, I think I may have to start using it!

  3. Three words later the correct verb tense is used, so it seems a proofreader would have caught it. Or, heck, even a decent spell-checker.

  4. Kirk says:

    Language like that is just plain lazy. She knew the words; she just didn't have the desire to enunciate. I often get the feeling some people think it's hip to come off
    as uneducated.People who deliberately refuse to speak clearly don't deserve to be heard.

  5. Kirk says:

    "I've never heard of 'they's' before though, I think I may have to start
    using it!"You don't seem at all like an idiot, so I suspect you will find it far more difficult to maintain than you ever imagined. 🙂

  6. Kirk says:

    Exactly. With a screw up like that, you can't even claim you just picked the wrong suggestion from Word.I forgot to mention that it's correct just a little later in the same sentence, so thanks for bringing it up. It appears their problem lies in the use of contractions. They are awfully complicated. 😛

  7. They's no typo… indeed. Sigh. What I hate in mainstream media is too often there is a lack of accountablility… at least I think there is, otherwise this guy called Associated Press puts out a lot of drivel each day. The other day I heard someone say "I can't go with you. I don't got my wallet now." *Cringe*.

  8. Xeyli says:

    I'm not an English major, but one of my biggest pet peeves is poor grammar/punctuation/spelling/etc. This sort of thing gets on my nerves, especially when it's supposed to be from a reputable news source.

  9. I've caught these too… it's ridiculous.

  10. Lurkertype says:

    They's got no spell-check at CNN? Mine just gave me the ol' red squiggle for typing that. That wouldn't have caught the typo 3 words earlier, but it still would have improved their error rate in that sentence by 50%

  11. Xeyli says:

    Oh, man… just started reading this blog. This post is just pure awesomeness.Hyperbole and a Half

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