Monday, June 30, 2014

A Flesh Wound

Want to see a real misspelling? I’ve got one for you, in the Fleshtones.

When you discover a ruptured disc cover, you dis the cover. That is why I’m going on record about a letter left off the record.

The Fleshtones, a garage band with a name that harks back to the ‘50s and its proliferation of doo-wop groups, are in need of a “band” aid. It’s no secret that the band blew its cover when it included a rocky spelling on the front of Wheel of Talent, its 2014 album.

WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE: The second word on the
original cover was, like Harold and Kumar, stoned.

The second word isn’t showing enough skin.

It needs to be fleshed out. Adding one more letter will set the record straight. Etch an h in Flestones.

Cut the band some slack, though. An h can be tough to find. It is, after all, in the middle of nowhere.

FIXING A BROKEN RECORD: Fortunately, the cover
wasn't set in stone. Someone set an h in 'stones.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Don't Quote Me on That

“Every editor in the world is better than someone else and not as good as someone else.” – Owen, American blogger (1973-present).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Twins Tweet Needs Tweaking

The your in red? It’s a hit. The you’re that begins Kevin Love’s Twitter message? It’s a swing and a miss. I must, therefore, twit your tweet. I must correct this labor of Love.

“Don’t give up your day job” is right. You can’t hack it as a professional baseball player, and based on the hack job you’ve done with your/you’re, a writing career also is out of the question.

When you were throwing out that first pitch, Love, you should have tossed away that first word as well.

I’m not the only one, by the way, who feels strongly about your/you’re. The five-second video below is proof. It’s an excerpt from “The One with the Jellyfish,” the premiere episode of the fourth season of Friends — the episode in which Rachel had rambled on for 18 pages … front and back!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Back Talk

If Im mistaken about todays error, I preemptively apologize and ask that someone enlighten me.

Im not a fan of redundancies, as my regular readers know. If I see or hear 12 noon, mix together or revert back, for example, its akin to nails on a chalkboard. My back arches and my teeth grind. Its not a pretty sight.

That brings us to todays question, and its not Who killed Rosie Larsen? In this old TV Guide article about the AMC drama The Killing, is two back-to-back redundant? I think so.

In the article, back-to-back is used as an adjective that means coming one after the other (one). One and one equal an implicit two. Back-to-back is clear; adding a lead-in two is unnecessary. Yet I come across phrases such as “two back-to-back days and “two back-to-back games more frequently than I encountered red herrings during the first season of The Killing.

Am I wrong about this?

If so, Ill back down.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Jaws of Deceit

Do you know what’s scarier than seeing a shark’s dorsal fin piercing the ocean’s surface? Seeing a fact error floating in the opening paragraph of an article about escalating shark sightings. It’s scarier to an editor, anyway.

Today’s error may frighten you as well. Oh, the Amity horror! It may surprise you. Jaws may drop. We can label it a fish story or, more precisely, a (great) white lie.

Thirty-nine years ago today, Brody, Hooper and Quint needed a bigger boat. Jaws made its splashy debut in the summer of 1975, giving birth to the Hollywood blockbuster. Steven Spielberg’s mechanical shark put a dent in beach attendance, but it also put fannies in theater seats. Jaws became the first film to gross more than $100 million. In cinematic annals, June 20, 1975, the day the thriller premiered, is a red-letter date. Yet I just read a later date.

America’s bicentennial? I’m unwilling to celebrate the writer’s declaration of our milestone year of independence.

Sorry, Molly, but you missed the Orca.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another "Crisis" Situation

If only someone had sought the mayoral counsel of Goldie Wilson…

It’s becoming less and less difficult to understand why the NBC series Crisis failed to last more than one season.

On its June 1 episode, “Found,” the show butchered the words kidnappers and abandoned on a phony TV news graphic, which I blogged about here. During its subsequent episode, “Best Laid Plans,” which aired Sunday, the show made no progress — and no progress.

When you transgress proper spelling, words regress. So, Crisis, amend your uneducated gess. Make headway by making certain an r, like the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, is in progress.

Crisis struggled in the ratings (its midseason debut and challenging Sunday-at-10 time slot didn’t help), and the hostage drama exits on a “special day and time,” which is code for throwaway treatment. The two-hour series finale airs this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. Here’s hoping the show’s producers have taken steps to avert all potential Crisis crises. That’d be a true sign of progress.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Noble Gesture

“I have made the most important discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my life: It is only in the mysterious transcriptions of medals that any errors or mistakes can be found. I’m only here tonight because of you, A Beautiful Mind. You are the reason I am … you are all my reasons.” – Owen

Put the ballpoints, fountains and quills back in your pockets. No signs exist of a grand achievement today — only a grand error, a noble error. Pens must remain off the table.

At the end of 2001’s Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind, mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe), laureate of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, concludes his acceptance speech and walks to the side of the lectern, acknowledging the audience’s standing ovation. In that moment, as Nash gazes at his loving wife, we catch a glimpse of a portion of the Nobel medal on the face of the lectern. Problem is, the medal honors someone named Noble. No bull.

For his work in game theory while at Princeton, Nash received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994. (Sweden’s central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, established the prize, officially known as The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, in 1968.) The economics medal depicts Nobel’s profile above crossed horns of plenty. Running along the rim are the words SVERIGES RIKSBANK TILL ALFRED NOBELS MINNE 1968, which translates to Sveriges Riksbank, in memory of Alfred Nobel, 1968.

Despite the noblest of intentions, the prop department for A Beautiful Mind made a mind-boggling mistake, one for which no mathematical explanation exists. The word at the top right of the medal reads NOBLES instead of NOBELS. No NOBLES deed goes unpunished, particularly one at a meeting of the minds. Can we reach a meeting of the minds on that, readers? We can?


Friday, June 13, 2014

A 3-and-oh Count

It’s mid-June, time for the College World Series, an eight-team tournament that determines college baseball’s national champion. I tend to avoid the CWS because it pains me deeply that my alma mater, the flagship university in a state synonymous with baseball, has yet to capture a CWS title. That being said, I’d like to take this opportunity to revisit a conspicuous misspelling that made the rounds last June, finding its way to myriad websites, sports-centric and otherwise. Everyone from Sporting News and Deadspin to MSN and The Christian Post took digs at a doggone dugout that put something out there, in front of the world — and in front of World — for all(l) to see.

Nati Harnik/AP
Last June 15 was not exactly a banner opening day at the 2013 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. A banner affixed to the third-base dugout at TD Ameritrade Park contained a trio of letters working their way through College.

Visible to fans in the upper level, birds soaring above the ballpark and anyone with access to the Internet, the first word in the banner near third base was off base. College admitted an extra L. This typo atop the dugout amused many. L-L-L? LOL.

NCAA officials gave it the old college try and successfully replaced the banner the following day. That’s right: They got the L out of there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Toss That Football

Baseball is our nation’s pastime, but football is its obsession. The NFL’s season runs from September to February, but the league pervades the sports air the entire year. That’s welcome news to the many fans with insatiable appetites for anything football flavored. Mmm … pigskin!

Those afflicted with post-Super Bowl malaise can enjoy a smorgasbord of off-season events — everything from combines and the draft in the spring to OTAs (organized team activities) and training camps in the summer — that seize the spotlight from the NBA, NHL and any other sport that dares battle the NFL for attention. Even a dry subject, if it has a wisp of NFL-ness, garners “lead story” treatment on ESPN’s SportsCenter. (Example: the April release of the upcoming season’s schedule.) We can never have too much football.

Or can we?

After my alma mater won its first softball national championship last week (Go Gators!), an online vendor threw us a curve. Fortunately, I kept my eye on the ball — the one at the end of the product description. I caught that football. If I could, I’d snap it, center-like, between my legs to a quarterback to ensure that it takes a hike. Then I’d have someone toss a softball in our direction. Underhand, of course.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Come, "Median" (Ha!)

Something is wrong. Pull over — but not onto the shoulder. Follow the lead set by Mike (Chris Farley) in the lowbrow comedy Black Sheep and head for the median. It’s a dangerous move, to be sure, but the median is what we’re after.

Officer: "Do you have any idea how fast you were going?"
Mike: "I guess I was going about 65, tops."
Officer: "Seven! Seven miles an hour."

The excerpt below is from a article about David Wise, a freestyle skier at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Wise became a husband and a father in his early 20s, and by 23 he was a gold medalist. He was also, according to the headline of a story NBC posted on its Olympic website, a man leading an “alternative lifestyle.”

In its article about the NBC story, Fox News referenced data from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. How does that K-I-S-S-I-N-G song we’ve all belted out on the playground go again? First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage. Those lyrics may need some 21st-century tweaking. Today it may be more apropos to sing, First comes loves, then comes baby in a baby carriage, then comes marriage — even if it doesn’t have the same ring to it, and even if that’s not the script Wise followed. The median age of Americans at the birth of a first child is 25.7, while the median age of Americans at first marriage is 26.5.

The median is the middle value in any ordered set of values, so the median age is the point at which there are as many instances above the value as there are below. It’s the age that divides a population into two equal groups. When it comes to first marriages, for example, half of the American population is younger than 26.5 and half is older.

The Fox News article, however, refers to a “media age,” which sounds like some sort of blip on history’s timeline — a period sandwiched between the Industrial Age and the Information Age.

I propose that media and n unite, giving birth to a beautiful new word. Make them marry. It’d make me merry.

I’d like to thank Dodie, my “West Coast mom,” for spotting and sharing today’s error. She didn’t fall for Fox News’ media bias!

Friday, June 6, 2014

A "Crisis" Situation

One kind word can change someone’s day — but not always for the better.

While watching the latest episode of Crisis, an NBC drama about D.C. high school students abducted during a field trip, I spotted a kind- word that echoed loudly, for troubling reasons.

From 10 to 11 p.m. ET on Sundays — in times of Crisis — I reach for meaning. Last Sunday night, meaning escaped me. To be more specific, the meaning escaped me — the meaning of two words seen in a faux TV report.

What first spelled disaster for Crisis, which was canceled after only one season, was its misguided attempt to form the word that means people who unlawfully seize and detain victims, usually for ransom. The show had to choose between being kind and being right. It chose to be kind. That’s not right.

The first syllable of the first word in that stilted, passive caption is, like an 18-year-old, not a kid anymore. (They grow up so fast.) Kind is not a nice start. When I discovered this unusual sequence of letters during the episode aptly titled “Found,” I thought: What’s the meaning of this?! Is a kindnapper some sort of friendly sleeper? You’ve got to be kidding me. You need to be kid-ing me.

Disaster loomed again near the end of the next line, when another error jumped off the screen on my screen. What’s with abandoned’s 3-d spelling? Someone’s depth perception is off. That extra d has resulted in a word that falls flat.

How would I handle this problematic situation? I’d remove the n and abandon the d. I’d also add an apostrophe after the s in kidnappers, because the word is possessive, and I’d delete the extra character space between military and troops. That, readers, is rapid, effective Crisis management.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A BB Queue

Ailing right elbow, huh? It’s a front, I’m sure. Gardner is headed to the disabled list because he’s got an unusual growth on his forehead. It’s an embarrassing situation, to be sure, so the Yankees are hiding the truth and feeding us lies.

The outfielder’s first name ends with repeating letters, b-but it doesn’t b-begin that way.

BBrett? Shoot no. Let’s take out one of those B’s with a shot pellet and fix this Gardner-variety error. With BB gone, we’ll get Brett, and this BB ding will no longer give me the blues.

Two B’s or not two B’s? That is the easiest question. Not two B’s — definitely not two B’s. One B is our best bet; it leaves us with our best Brett.

“Hey, Brett, you better?”

“You bet!”


In unrelated news…

Last night my over-35 softball team improved to 5-1 with a 19-2 run-rule romp. The game began minutes after a passing storm, and a rainbow appeared high over the field early on. And yet, my team’s win wasn’t the prettiest softball game of the night, nor the most rewarding. Those honors go to my alma mater, the University of Florida, which played Alabama in Oklahoma City in the second game of the best-of-three championship series of the Women’s College World Series.

The Gators had advanced that far before, in 2009 and 2011, but finished as the runner-up each time. No June swoon this year. The third time indeed was the charm. Fifth-ranked Florida defeated No. 2 Alabama 6-3 to capture its first WCWS title.

It took a team effort to roll the Tide, of course, but the Gators reached the summit because for two days, Oklahoma City became Miss Rogers’ neighborhood. Senior pitcher Hannah Rogers, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the WCWS, shut out Alabama 5-0 on Monday and earned the save in yesterday’s clincher. Fittingly, she was involved in the season’s final play. An Alabama player hit a one-hopper back to the mound. Game. Title. Dogpile!

Florida — your 2014 national chomp-ions!

Go Gators!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

What the...? Fack?!

Today’s typo, which I came across in an old Deadspin story while doing research for a separate post, has me craving Kung Pao chicken, moo goo gai pan and other dishes from a certain popular Chinese restaurant. Why? Because this 2010 North Carolina State baseball media guide is in desperate need of a PF change.

The NC State athletics administration blew its cover, literally. Can’t find the big, bad error? Stalk your prey into the upper-right corner and you’ll discover something that really packs a punch. Whoever put that word on the BALL wasn’t, um, on the ball.

W, O and L — the leaders of the Wolfpack — are a howling success. It’s at this point, however, that the lineup crumbles. The cleanup letter and the one on deck are, like the whole trial in …And Justice for All, out of order. The transposed letters stick out like a long, sharp canine in this dog-eat-dog world.

The 2010 NC State baseball team, which finished 38-24, made 102 errors in 2,403 chances (.958 fielding percentage). The team’s media relations office made one error in five chances (.800) on the cover — and it was a whopper, akin to dropping an easy pop fly while nursing a one-run lead with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning.

Wolp packs a wallop. We don’t need a full moon to realize that if it were wolf, the word would transform into something meaningful. The lesson? Mixing your P’s and F’s can create all sorts of paux fas, er, faux pas. Editors can eliminate such blunders. We are, after all, quite helfpul.