Editing Oversights in the Technical Age

by updated 2011/11/20

I have written before about the problem automated editing has caused for publications, although it has usually been about something I came across in a publication like Parade Magazine. This time I was reading a New York Time Magazine article about the current crop of presidential candidates from last summer and was surprised by a comment regarding food co-ops.  Now I understand that the author was just making an attempt at humor and that the reference was really not relevant to the article in any important way.  Still, this particular publication is usually well written and edited so I was a bit taken aback to see such an old stereotype perpetrated.  The comment in question is this:

A Barbour nomination would be the rough equivalent of the Democrats’ nominating Howard Dean, if Dean also happened to be a draft-dodging transsexual owner of a vegan food co-op.

Really? Ignoring the rest of the comment’s offensiveness, just the fact that the author or editors would not understand that, by definition, one person does not own a co-op is quite surprising. Anyway, in this day of automated spell checkers and editors, I have become accustomed to seeing mistakes and oversights in prominent publications. The New York Times Magazine is usually not one of these as it is very well edited. I hope this is not a sign of carelessness to come for this publication.

Will Sig

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