Monday, May 23, 2011

The New Yorker screws up, too

For 90 years The New Yorker has been North America’s epitome of stylish journalism.

As an intriguing weekly package of writing and drawing, one of the few remaining general-interest magazines to publish fiction and poetry in every issue, it has no competition.

There’s a dandy website, too, with intriguing blogs and daily news updates, as well as an iPad edition.

The magazine charges for much of its content, and most Tuesdays I eagerly pay $7 for the paper copy. The eclectic mix of topics and exemplary fact checking and editing create a rewarding read.

But reader, I have found a mistake in The New Yorker.

In the May 9 issue the fourth letter to the editor discusses political campaign spending. It contains this sentence: “The other two largest sources, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, spent approximately $140 million dollars.”

Which should it be? $ or dollars?

The answer is $, judging by the previous sentence and by other articles in that issue.

That’s the thing about copy editing: Do it well and hardly anyone notices. Screw up and any schmuck can catch you.