Monday, November 29, 2010

Attention to detail

A couple of things caught my eye in today's edition that lead me to think someone left the controls on autopilot over the holiday weekend.

In the editorial highlighting local charities, the unnamed editor writes, "Two women are renovating, room by room, an old hotel for displaced veterans, which they have named the Downtown Prescott Inn." He's referring of course to what oldtimers remember as the AJ Head Hotel on North Cortez, renamed Downtown Prescott Inn years ago by some new owners who hoped to gentrify it. It resisted. The new people are just reusing the old name and signage. So the sentence is wrong in fact, and anyone who's been in town as long as the editor ought to know that backward and would not refer to the Head, the last historic, working residence hotel in town, as "an old hotel."

Over on the news side, "Elk's raffle under way" glares with an excess apostrophe, as if no one writing or editing the piece knows what the Elks Theatre is or understands basic punctuation. There's another one in the body of the piece ("Elk's building") right among better-punctuated references, so it's not just the hapless headline writer.

Roll your eyes at my pedantry if you like, but editors are supposed above all to be careful readers. These slips aren't small. So did the Courier staff farm out the weekend paper to a pasteup house in India, or what?

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