Toad in the Hole

January 19, 2007

Is Mercury in Tardigrade?

Headline writers are having a bad week by us. Joe's Daily Planet piece, about that handsome duck in the photo, was headlined "Are Scooters Crashing?"

scoter cropped

That, of course, is a scoter, not a scooter.

This after he'd sent in the headline himself -- and he doublechecked it when he saw that mess in print; it wasn't a typo he sent. I'm betting the hed writer took the spellcheck's word for it.

Our Chron piece -- the top half of it was about cabbage whites -- had a hed about "moths." I've asked Lynette to give the writer a schmittox for that too. Cabbage whites are butterflies, of course.

And this morning the Chron had a frontpage hed: "Fatal jumps from bridge rise sharply." Well, that would solve part of the problem, I guess.

Posted at January 19, 2007 06:18 AM


You know, I saw the piece about Art Shapiro's annual contest (which he always, always wins himself), on the campus news aggregator but didn't notice it was written by you. I'm sorry they mothed it up. (And the scooters.)

Spellcheck? Please no!

Posted by: Pica at January 19, 2007 02:51 PM

You realize that I'll be calling scoters "scooters" for the rest of my life now?!

Oh well they'll be in happy company with the gerbies and the buffaloheads I suppose.

Posted by: Rurality at January 19, 2007 03:39 PM

...and the leisurely buntings and the double-breasted cormorants and the long-billed dowagers too. (I made one of those up, but only one.)

Posted by: Ron at January 19, 2007 04:57 PM



Picky, picky, picky.

Posted by: Sally at January 20, 2007 03:54 PM

your piece on the butterfly does not mention moths. you'd think the editor would at least scan the content of the piece before writing the headline. i'd personally be hard-pressed to tell a scoter from a scooter if the subject was a bird rather than something with wheels, but i know this is an area about which i know zip -- so what ever happened to looking it up??
these kids today with their runaway reliance on spellcheck.

Posted by: kathy a at January 20, 2007 10:11 PM

Do you have a link to the scoter article? Surf scoters are a favorite of mine, and I don't think I've seen one all winter. (Maybe I've been in the wrong places, though.)

Posted by: Lisa at January 21, 2007 01:41 AM

Cut 'n'paste this, if you please,

while I go off and bitch about the software that suddenly won't let me put a link in the reply string. More of Joe's stuff in the archives there, every other Tuesday.

Scoters hang out on saltwater, but we haven't seen nearly as many as usual either -- which is partly what the piece is about.

I took the photo down at Airhead, excuse me, Arrowhead Marsh, where there are in fact jetskis in the neighborhood entirely too often, if you should want a surf scooter. We didn't see any that day -- it being winter and all -- but we were repeatedly annoyed by, no kidding, black helicopters.

Posted by: Ron at January 21, 2007 06:25 AM

Not in the same league as headlines, but I saw two signs today which reminded me of publicly-exposed illiteracy:
a hair salon offering "hair tents"
a sandwich board for a deli in San Francisco selling "decalf coffee"

I'm going to have calf coffee (decalf is for wimps) while I have my hair tented.

Posted by: Sally at January 23, 2007 01:23 AM

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