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Posts tagged: errors

My unimpressive learning curve

A bit ago, a helpful reader emailed me. She wondered if, in the post below this one, I meant to refer to the “county library director” instead of, as I had it, the “country library manager.”

I thanked her and made the correction.

But it's not my first stumble on that road.

About 35 years ago, at my first newspaper job, I wrote a profile of the county manager of Coconino County in Arizona. I suspect that particular piece of American journalism failed to make our newsstand sales skyrocket that day.

Anyway, right there at the beginning, I called him the “country manager.”

And my overworked editor failed to catch it.

But I didn't even realize I had made that mistake until I bumped into the subject of that profile and he thanked me for the promotion.

Thanks for shating

Now and then I find myself thinking about my readers and wondering, why haven't I heard from so-and-so in a while?

One of my paranoid theories involves my most common email typo.

I'm not sure why. But I routinely respond to reader submissions by typing “Thanks for shating that.”

I like to think I always catch that and fix it to read “sharing.”

But chances are, a few of those shatings have escaped my notice. And that would be bad.

Obviously, it is sloppy and careless — even if email standards tend to be somewhat relaxed. But far worse than that is the prospect that the scatological-sounding mistake could be interpreted as my judgment of the submission's merits.

I might as well call someone's story or observation a piece of shat. Which I would almost never do.

So, if you ever got an email reply from me that said “Thanks for shating that,” please realize I meant to say “sharing.”

And please feel free to do so again. Share, that is. Not shat.  

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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