August 10, 2012, - 6:45 pm

Lessons in Typos: Detroit Free Press Headline of the Day

By Debbie Schlussel

I was a spelling bee champ. But ever since I began posting regularly to this site, I’ve become the queen of typos, especially homophonic typos. It’s because my mind thinks and works much faster than I type (and I type quite fast). And there is a disconnect, especially with my rush to get things up on the site quickly. But I’m only one person (and have a great friend and reader who helps edit me after he proofreads what I’ve posted, as well as other sharp-eyed readers who let me know when I screw up–please always feel free to alert me to my mistakes and typos).

So what’s the Detroit Free Press’ excuse? When they’re not busy ripping off stories I’ve broken (such as the one about the All-American Muslim cast member caught with illegal drugs at the U.S.-Canada border) and pandering to Islamic extremists, you’d think the paper’s top-heavy staff of editors would notice a major homophonic typo on the inside front page. But no. Below is the headline I spotted at the top of Page 2A of yesterday’s Detroit Free Press print edition. It’s kind of amusing, even if the topic–Wade Michael Page’s tragic massacre at the Sikh Temple–is very serious and very sad.

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29 Responses

A byproduct of affirmative action?

RT on August 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm

That is a pretty pathetic error for a major daily. Maybe they were excited about clearing up their acne or something. lol

Worry01 on August 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm


    As goes... on August 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm


Downriver Pat on August 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Hmm, maybe they were typing and thinking way too quick to mess up like that. And embarrassing moment for the Detroit Free Press, anyway we all screw up, make mistakes here and there, hell it happens to me here on some occassion, I’m guilty of typing and thinking too quick. But to my credit whenever I make a spelling error or grammer error, I correct myself in another message to let everyone know (it’s spelling “know”, not “no”).

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on August 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    That newspaper has an editorial staff, copywriters, and proof readers. what is produced goes before many eyeballs, and not just the joker who goofed. This would be like a tank going missing on a base without anyone noticing anything.

    Worry01 on August 11, 2012 at 2:47 am


A1 on August 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Knowing you as I do, A1, I’m sure that was a perverted sniff.

    skzion on August 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Maybe whoever wrote it doesn’t know it’s a typo. Some of the younger people I work with use the wrong spelling of words frequently.

Mominminnesota on August 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm

This is cause by txting shrtcts 2 save space. We spel fonetikly, 2.

Jimbo on August 11, 2012 at 1:23 am


Kristy on August 11, 2012 at 6:06 am

Could have been worse — at least they spelled ‘pore’ right.

Little Al on August 11, 2012 at 8:07 am

It fits the line.

fleiter on August 11, 2012 at 9:05 am

Shouldn’t that read “Police Pour over Temple Shooting Evidence?”
“Police Poor over Temple Shooting Evidence”
“Police Pure over Temple Shooting Evidence”

Isle Star on August 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Could be they were running short on ink.

Kent on August 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

This is not a typo. If they used know, the headline wouldn’t fit. Then they would have had to either change the headline or change the typeface to make it smaller. Besides, in Detroit, how many would notice?

Davidus Romanus on August 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Classic spell check. I do it all the time. Should have been caught, but the headline writers are the last to review. Which is why the headline writers, always chosen for their politics, often post a headline that leads one to conclude something very different than the substance of the article. AP is the worst.

pat on August 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

no is urban dictionary short for know.. just as mofo is UD short for..

Panhandle on August 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Is “Illiteracy” in the urban dictionary?

RT on August 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I too type fast, but tend to make more typos nowadays than I used to. And I just hate it when sites don’t have a capability to edit & correct my typos (nothing against this site, Debbie, but just saying…)

Has the newspaper industry haemorraged so much that they are nowadays unable to afford proofreaders?

Infidel on August 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm

In my graduate days, I was thankful for the arrival of the word processor!

Having to retype paper filled with typos on my old Smith Corona electric typewriter was sheer torture. That all changed with being able to erase typos on my first processor – also a Smith Corona – on the fly – and I was able to get my graduate school papers neatly done without telltale whitening fluid!

I hope Debbie switches us to Disqus so we can clean up our typos!

I tend to think faster than I write so every now and then I don’t catch myself missing on some words. Writer’s block has seldom been a problem for me.

But seriously, if the Detroit Free Press can rip off Deborah Schlussel’s columns, can’t they at least check for typos? You think if a gonif is going to steal from you, at least he’s going to be more original than person he’s stolen it from!

They can’t be creative in Detroitistan with literary theft if their circulation life depended on it!

NormanF on August 12, 2012 at 12:17 am

Newspapers used to be the hallmarks of spelling and grammar, but no more. With the exception of a few big-city papers like the NYT, WSJ, sometimes the LA Times, Washington Post and previously the SF Chronicle, papers these days read like they were written by ESLers or idiot junior college graduates (or both, I suppose.)

I stopped reading papers years ago because of their leftist slant and omission – reporting (such as B-on-W crimes), but kept one local paper just for the NYT crossword they ran, but I had to stop that one, too, because of the idiot-writing that would catch my eye and that I would inevitably read and become infuriated upon doing so.

DS_ROCKS! on August 12, 2012 at 6:32 am

Weight a minnut… Eye ded knot sea Annie ting wrong wid de headline!?!

Pats on August 12, 2012 at 8:03 am

Eye can bee reddy two ade yewer papur wit riting gud. I wuz two a publik skool and I am gud at ritin. Kall mee four a job at yer papur.

herbster on August 12, 2012 at 9:49 am

Classic Spellcheck dependence error. I see this all the time in newspapers, magazines and books – basically everywhere that one would expect to have a copy editor going behind the writer and cleaning up the typos. One thing I have seen more and more is that SPELLCHECK is wrong. In my own writing, I often have spellcheck highlight something and tell me to change writing that is correct and make it wrong. (A spellcheck / Grammar check program is only as good as the programmer who writes it.) So I can see that this is an error that spellcheck would not highlight (after all, the word “no” is spelled correctly)and grammar check cannot read. So this is an error that could only be caught by a copy editor, and unfortunately more and more of them do not have a solid command of the English language.

DG in GA on August 12, 2012 at 11:33 am

No Debbie, being a Hebrew spelling bee champ in West Bloomfield doesn’t count.

Mira Rosen on August 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Why not, Mira sweetie?

    skzion on August 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Better be careful about using the word ‘homophonic’. Look what happened to the unwitting people who used the term ‘niggardly’.

Little Al on August 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I have another theory to offer: The news media can’t get their story right even when they try.

Three is NO Santa Claus on August 13, 2012 at 12:04 am

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