We see them everywhere. Written and spoken by illiterate, rushed, tired, careless media people.
* Missing verbs – has the word “had” been abolished from the English language when we weren’t looking? Here’s Mish, one of my favorite economic commentators: Would it Have Mattered if McCain Won in 2008? Sorry, Mish, it’s “…if McCain HAD Won in 2008.” We hear and see this omission all the time!
We also see and hear fairly constant misuse or omission of the word “would.” Correct: If I had known about Twitter, I would not have done that. Or, if McCain had won in 2008, it would not have mattered.
* Misspellings – Business Journals in the lead sentence, no less: “A Seattle-based investment adviser has its sites on the mountain of cash sitting in the savings accounts of Oregonians.” That’s just wrong. The reporter means, “sights” – as in rifle sights. A “site,” as you know, is a place, a location, a lot, etc.
And, same publication, same author: “The investment carries with it a cache that will inevitably attract other institutional investors.” A “cache,” pronounced “cash” is a hidden area for stored materials, or the materials themselves. What the reporter should have written is “cachet.” Pronounced “cashay.” It is a French word that means fashionable, or stylish.
The second article was particularly distressing, since IFO was quite interested in the content, CalPERS investments. She’s covered those investments in vineyard property in the Pacific Northwest. Fascinating. But she couldn’t finish the article, since at the word “cache” she threw the newspaper across the room.
We could snarkily suggest that the writer use a dictionary, but these aren’t misspellings. They are misuse of words. If writers don’t know how to use words, how can we trust the content?
These are not easily corrected errors. Ignorance that deepseated, can’t be corrected in a day, or even a year. That’s what editors are for. Editors??? Where are you???
[Oh, right. One of my editors is a prime violator of the rules in this respect. Oops.]