So, emboldened by my own words of praise for myself, I dedicate this column to great stuff I’ve done: Everyday heroism that takes place out of the headlines (well, except when the typos I catch are actually in headlines, but you know what I mean) in the form of found misspellings, misusages, and all-around bad writing. (Much of it here has been disguised to protect the innocent.) Hopefully, you’ll find this helpful and informative. But I’d be lying if I said that were my true agenda. Because, today, we honor me.
Here’s a sentence I came across in my work not long ago: “The park’s four-acre forest will turn into a primeval habitat, crawling with life-like robotic dinosaurs that roamed the earth 65 million to 150 million years ago.”
A lesser copy editor might have left that sentence as is. Not I. No, I had the courage to stand up to the science zealots who would have you believe that millions of years ago robots roamed the earth. With some input from a fellow wordsmith, I changed it to “… life-like robotic replicas of dinosaurs that roamed the earth 65 million to 150 million years ago.” Take that, illogic.
Here’s another of the many sentences that were unable to wreak havoc on my watch. “The restaurant’s soup of the day, served in a large terrine, is more than one person could possibly eat.” I could have left “terrine” as it was written. “Webster’s New World ” says a terrine is “an earthenware dish or casserole in which a pate or any of various similar meat or vegetable mixtures is cooked and served.” But I had the right stuff to change it to “tureen,” which means “a large, deep serving dish with a lid, used for soups, stews, etc.”