Paper of Wreckage (Copyediting Division)

Dunno if the copyediting staff at the New York Times is all suffering from fruitcake hangovers or what, but today was not their brightest hour. First off, a headline on the front of the B section teasing a sports story about a stunt cyclist who’s found YouTube fame reads “Peddle Jumper.” Which would be a fine enough pun on “puddle jumper,” except that spelled that way I kept wondering what he was selling.

Then, columnist Clyde Haberman had this to say about the decade just ending:

But first, let us briefly look back on the ’00s, a decade that in one respect ends exactly as it began: without a consensus on what we should call it. Plenty of names have been suggested over the years. The Oughts, the Naughts, the Naughties, the Zips, the Preteens, the Ohs and the Oh-Ohs are among the more familiar.

Some more familiar than others, certainly. While “ought” is an acceptable variant spelling of “aught,” the latter is used far more frequently than the former. Haberman ought to be more careful.

Recent Related Posts