First, there's this - cheers to one who cannot be named for a lovely juxtaposition of death and life insurance:
I thought this might be a nice way to segue into the general point I wanted to make. I've had quite a few emails over the past few days with spelling or grammar errors from either the print edition or the website, peaking, of course, with the misspelling of 'Barak' Obama's name in a political article on page A2 late last week - a mistake that is still on the website as of writing. The fact that such a blatant mistake could get past the journalist, his subeditor and whatever proof-readers theoretically work at the newspaper is quite depressing, even if it is 'just a typo'.
Sure, everyone knows what John Armstrong means by 'Barak Obama' but, to me, that isn't the point. If I want to read spelling mistakes, I'll read a blog. Newspaper owners and editors keep saying that one of the things that sets newspapers apart from blogs is professionalism. Despite the urgings of some, I haven't been doing any quantitative analysis of things going on in the Herald over the year, but anecdotally it seems to me that such errors have become considerably more frequent over the past year. To me, it is carelessness, and once you start getting careless about things like spelling then why not get careless about news?
Anyway, I'm not going to keep banging on about these 'minor' errors on the blog, unless they're particularly hilarious. I just thought I would put the view out there that I don't think they're totally innocuous.