#fireyourinterns: April 3, 2013

#fireyourinterns is a hashtag I like to use when somebody involved with a major outlet makes a significant error or unnecessary typo that could have easily been avoided. It started when I was in the middle of my college career and desperately needed an internship. I’ve always had an eye for catching errors in printed and online media, and I began to notice more and more of them as I felt like my writing career remained stagnant. My thought was that I could do the jobs of those content producers more accurately, and since a lot of the people making the errors were probably interns, I started saying “fire your interns” every time I caught an awful error. Of course, the term stuck.

These errors could be anywhere—from SportsCenter (where statistical inaccuracies and typos have become more and more commonplace) to the web and Twitter (as will be addressed today). The fact that they exist reflects somewhat poorly on those who create the content, because they’ve made the error, and the editing team involved, because their job is to catch it and fix it.

If you ever see yourself on one of these things, and you don’t like it, I’m sorry. But this is supposed to be a learning tool. My intent is not to dress down authors, which is why author names will not be included unless they’re my own—I’ll make a habit of calling out my own mistakes as well.

In short, it’s a brief and sometimes terse assault on those who don’t give proofreading the proper attention (and a constant reminder to myself to check everything over again, since I’m in no way immune; in fact, Freudian slips and I seem to be best friends). But I don’t think it’s that hard to avoid these mistakes, so I’m going to put them here when I find them.

Without further ado:

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The tour date is June 12, not July 12. That’s sort of a big error. About 30 days in size, in fact.

Picture 66

Thanks for addressing it (and relatively quickly—18 minutes between tweets), but you should probably still delete the other tweet.

Picture 67

This one comes from NASCAR.com. Kudos on including the necessary hyphen, but “saught” is not the right word. It’s “sought.” Spell check is your friend!

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Here’s an update, from a roundtable discussion on SportsCenter today about ex-Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice. There’s no singular-plural agreement here. They’re just leaving it up. This looks awful, ESPN. Fix it.

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