Oh, Roanoke. *loose/lose

Yes, I do realize that only an approval-seeking pedant will broadcast the fact that he found an error in a newspaper headline.  At least I’ve got that self-awareness thing going for me.  And I make plenty of my own mistakes right here on this blog.  Somebody called me on the unforgivable *your/you’re confusion just last week.

Hey, I spent a couple of years on the other side of the desk where this kind of nitpicking is concerned.  When I was a reporter, there were people who positively loved to call us when they spotted a mistake.

If you’re ever inclined to do that yourself, then please bear two things in mind:

  1. You are almost never the first one to alert the paper’s staff that an error has slipped past them.  It’s usually spotted by someone either in the newsroom or in the advertising department, before anybody calls it in; and
  2. Mistakes in headlines are rarely made by the reporter who wrote the story.  They can usually be attributed to someone at the editorial level, who prepared the layout.  (The editors read the stories’ content, and then draft an appropriate headline according to the amount of space allowed by the layout.)




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