CNN omits space after comma, misspells word

August 28, 2009

CNN reported on a Florida judicial case and omitted a space after the comma. They have since updated that phrase completely, opting to create a new sentence, perhaps in order to avoid spaces after commas.

Additionally, CNN misspelled the word “one”.

Time misspells unit abbreviations

August 14, 2009

Time misspelled every instance of unit abbreviations in their recent article on college e-mail outsourcing. In this first of many possible examples, the abbreviation “mb” is used, when they likely mean “MB.” “MB” is an abbreviation for megabytes, where “mb” is not a real abbreviation but would mean millibits, or 10^-3 bits.

While it could be local style to keep all units lowercase, this results in ambiguities such as differentiating “Mb” (megabits) from “MB” (megabytes), a large but frequently confused difference. For these reasons, and for the fact that there is a standardized way of referring to these units with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, this is classified as an error.


CNN forgets (or adds) comma

August 5, 2009

CNN are* on a roll today, with respect to grammatical errors. In another story on the freed United States journalists who were detained in North Korea, CNN should have put a comma after “Hannah.” Alternatively, the comma before “Hannah” could have been removed.


* At Copy Editing the Web, we refer to organizations as collective nouns, resulting in plural verb conjugations. This was learned from watching and reading about too many football games in England.

CNN makes several errors

August 5, 2009

CNN reported recently on the humanitarian mission of Former President Bill Clinton to North Korea to secure the release of two United States journalists. They did not capitalize the formal title of “President” that preceded Clinton’s name. They managed to get it right on Kim Jong Il’s name, but they referred to him as “president,” which is a point of political contention and probably not quite accurate.


CNN made another error in this story with a missing line break. Between each bulleted line, there should be a space.


Finally, spoken quotation grammar aside, CNN should have capitalized the word “and” to start a sentence.


Boston Globe adds extra period

August 3, 2009

In a recent story on the trial of a Boston University student’s illegal downloading case, the Boston Globe added an extra period.


BBC duplicates word

August 3, 2009

The BBC reported today about the recently discovered Mozart concerto. In the article, they repeated the word “in” twice.


As a reminder to American readers, it appears to be at least a British grammatical convention to place the comma outside of the end quotation mark in this instance, because the actual title of the book in question does not include the comma, obviously. This convention is not followed in the overwhelming majority of American publications, though the English version of Wikipedia has somehow defaulted to this style. It will be interesting to note what potential effect Wikipedia’s (over-) use might have on future grammatical conventions for English writers around the world. We adhere to the American style and still treat these as errors if they are clearly from an American publication that does not appear to adhere to this style. However, in British publications such as the BBC, these are not considered errors. We believe that the American style on this point is correct, however, because of the ambiguities often associated with quoting speakers, in which the rules do not appear to be very concrete in the British system.

NYT makes plural error

August 3, 2009

The New York Times made an error in a story today about Michael Phelps and the Swimming World Championships. It should read, “in all, 43 world records fell …. ”