Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The other names were wrong, too

Years ago, I was working with one of the best newspaper writers I've ever seen. He wrote quickly and clearly, and people loved his stuff.

His lone weakness, I thought, was that he didn't back-read his stuff enough.

One night, I was in charge of putting out the sports section and he wrote a column about golf. There were four names in the column, and this was pre-Internet. Without a golf media guide, it was hard to spellcheck names. In fact, the not-so-great computers of that era didn't even have spellcheck. (At least we HAD computers.)

I immediately noticed that two of the names were spelled wrong and fixed them. The next day, I never got credit for fixing the two names. I just got hollered at over the other two names being misspelled.

The moral of the story? There was no way to get my co-worker to back-read his stories and fix mistakes (such as misspellings). So I made a list in the computer of sports names, and I checked and double-checked every name that came through my hands.

I didn't want that to happen again.

Note: If you're wondering, it wasn't a really long list; it might have been maybe a dozen names, total, in all sports. When spellcheck came along, I didn't need the list; I just added the correct spellings to my spellcheck.

Note: The Internet came along two or three years after the above story. Sigh.

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(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)

(the book of great NASCAR stories)

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