Monday, October 20, 2014

On Shaky Ground

Months ago my brother sent me a link to an article about an upheaval of sorts during a live TV weather report. The article may have been proofread, though no proof exists.

In the midst of a 4.2 magnitude earthquake, the meteorologist managed to get rick back to the forecast. I have so many questions: Who is rick? Why doesn’t he spell his name with a capital letter? Why did he need to get back to the forecast?

Oh, right: rick is wrong. That rickety word would be correct if it were right. Unfortunately, it’s in the right place at the wrong time.

At least that was the only mista—

Whoa! What’s up with woah? That h is making like a galloping horse. I know of an exclamation that may make it stop. If I use it, I’ll place the h in the second position. Why? Well, whoa is me.

We’re not out of the (trembling) woods yet, readers. Errors are being generated faster than seismic waves during a temblor. Check out the last sentence. The contributor scarred one of the words, I’m afraid.

I don’t heart sacred. I wish I could force it to sit next to Pennywise and watch Final Destination aboard a dark cabin filled with snakes during a turbulent flight over shark-infested waters, because that hallowed word should be scared.

A sturdy table or desk can shelter you during palpitation. An editor can do the same, in a sense, during publication. All the errors in this article were, like a 4.2 magnitude earthquake, detectable to the average person — but two of the three would have circumvented spell check. That program has more faults than an area prone to Richter scale readings.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hump Day, Dump Date

The trick is making sure all identical dates match. The treat is blogging about them when they don’t.

Memo to TV Guide: Check your calendar. Or check mine.

In its 2014 Halloween Preview — a “guide to the holiday’s creepiest offerings” — TV Guide shared scary fare, or posed its Calendar Ghouls, if you will. Anyway, the three episode summaries seen here strike error, not terror, into TV Guide readers.

Melissa & Joey airs on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Baby Daddy airs on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Modern Family — a personal favorite — airs on Wednesday, Oct. … 23?


That’s like reciting at a play and playing at a recital — it makes no sense.

When I got to the Modern Family recap at the end of this particular fright night of programming, I expected to catch 22*. Instead, I found a weekday with a weak date.

Try to watch the new episode of Modern Family on Wednesday, Oct. 23. You’ll have more trouble than Dracula dining at The Stinking Rose.

I refuse to accept this material, as I would a witch, warts and all. It’s my duty to cope with the terror on the erred line. Modern Family must be brought up to date, of corpse!

Twenty-three, skidoo!
* Actually, I should have been seeking a 29. A new episode of Modern Family airs on the 22nd, but the holiday special, titled "Halloween 3: AwesomeLand," is a week later.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Drop Dead, Date

Wrong. So, so wrong. Almost seven years wrong, to be exact.

In Sports Illustrated’s 60th anniversary issue, the date (April 26, 1982) listed for an old Tony Mandarich issue wasn’t even close. Sports Illustrated overinflated the day and underinflated the year.

You can’t judge a book by its cover. Mandarich’s career provides marrow to that idiom’s backbone. Back in the late ‘80s, the colossal man looked like the perfect offensive lineman specimen, so the Green Bay Packers took him second overall in the 1989 NFL draft. Mandarich started 63 games over six nondescript seasons before his career fizzled. For comparison’s sake, the other four players drafted in the top five that year (Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, Deion Sanders) are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You can, however, judge an old magazine by its cover date. The date of the Mandarich Sports Illustrated issue, shown below, is April 24, 1989. It’s in the upper right. You can’t miss it.

And yet SI did miss it — by this* much. The magazine, like “the best offensive line prospect ever,” fell far short of expectations.

On April 26, 1982, Mandarich was 15. It’s rare to come across a 6-foot-6-inch, 315-pound 15-year-old. Give a green boy nearly seven years to grow (and take steroids), however, and he can blossom into an incredible bulk.

* 6 years, 11 months, 29 days