Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Boy, am I pissed!

He said it right over the phone Posted by Hello

Picking up today's issue of The Vermilion, I was particularly proud of today's column. But some hard realities are starting to hit me: 1) no one cares nearly as much as I do (everyone I've told about this thinks I'm overreacting; even on this site, the column got no feedback) and 2) the editors of the paper are Bushesque in their insistence that they don't need to verify anything that they "correct."

What am I talking about? Look above. When I submitted this column, I had spelled Mark McGwire's name correctly. Yet, somewhere along the line, one of the editors decided that not only was my spelling wrong, but that it needed to be changed without verification. All they had to do was a simple Google search if they weren't sure, but noooooo!

I understand that life goes on and that something like this is relatively minor. But I send these columns out whenever I send out a resume, and this is one of my favorites. But now I cannot send this one out because of its error. I've already had enough good columns of mine ruined by editors' incompetence and it makes me want to scream. It hasn't happened much with this editorship, but when it does, hoo boy!

As much as I hate to be condescending...calm down, Ian, these guys are your friends...I cannot deny the fact that I have had the journalism degree for two years that these people are still earning, and that they are ADDING errors to my columns...errors that would have taken two seconds to fix...errors that make me look bad to potential employers...and makes them look even worse...grrr!

I e-mailed my immediate editor (without automatically blaming him for the mistake) and asked him to ponder this point: with a name like Ian McGibboney, don't you think I would be sensitive to checking the spelling of names?

Okay, end of rant...I feel better now.


Ian McGibboney said...

I don't know what Blogger's problem is this morning...if all you see on this post is the scanned picture, then hit "refresh." There's supposed to be a post there along with it.

MagicalShrimp said...

This leaves me wondering if all the terrible and obvious spelling mistakes in my college's newspapers may actually come from the editors and not the columnists. How hard is it to spell words like 'you' and 'the?'

That's the worst spelling of a Scottish/Irish name I have ever seen. Of course, I'm picky. My mother's maiden name is McGechaen. Good times.

Flamingo Jones said...

That's what happens when you live in a state with no professional baseball.

Michael said...

Here's the bad news, Ian--they do it in the "real" world, too. I used to write an editorial column for the local fish-wrapper about 10 years ago, and unless I physically stood over the compositors' shoulders and watched until they released the page to the press room, I couldn't guarantee that what I'd written was actually what would show up on the page.

It didn't help that we had a psychotic Repugnacon editor on staff who was just sure she knew better than anybody else how English worked. She'd even alter syndicated columnists' stuff, if she didn't like the way they wrote. I'm amazed nobody ever brought her up on copyright infringement charges.

Ian McGibboney said...

I've also had issues with real-world editors in the past, mainly involving corporate issues (e.g., not being able to say use of the flag is illegal in advertisements because all of the paper's ads had flags in them). But for the most part they knew their ass from a hole in the ground when it came to language.

Schools, pn the other hand, seem different: my middle-school newspaper teacher, who I liked immensely, admitted that she was one of the worst spellers ever. Which I thought was oddly ironic for an English/journalism teacher. When one of the girls in our class wrote a review of Free Willy, she spelled the whale's classification as "orca," which is the correct way (and is shown on the video's box). However, the teacher insisted it was "Orka" with such fervor that it made print that way. The girl was really pissed about that, and it taught me a valuable lesson (one I learned perhaps too early) that teachers make mistakes too.

My first high-school adviser was even worse. She was handed the job despite not wanting it, and never failed to let us know it. Still, she was really likeable and we got along great. Nevertheless, errors ruled the day, and our many apathetic seniors were given passing grades just so they'd be spared the embarrasment of having 19s on their report cards.

My current editor at the state newspaper, my second high-school adviser, as well as the first college editor when I got to The Vermilion were the only top brass who never gave me problems. Trust me, Michael, I understand.

Ian McGibboney said...

And like a hypocrite I misspelled "embarrassment."

Mustang Bobby said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mustang Bobby said...

My real first name (FYI, the one on my driver's license is not "Mustang") is fairly common. There are two accepted ways to spell it; one way is with one "L" and the other is with two. Mine is the one "L." I get the two L version all the time, even when I spell it out to people. It's slightly maddening.

By the way, I went to Fuddrucker's this week for dinner and when they asked my name, I said "Bobby." Simple, eh? The ticket printed out "Bobbie." Sigh.