Wednesday, January 21, 2009

'Change has come to'

Have you seen the new home of the White House on the Web? It's really slick.

In addition to the sorts of bells and whistles the average citizen would expect to find (bios of past presidents, a place to sign up for e-mail updates), there's a blog. Our government blogs. Unfortunately, the editor in me says, our government also makes typos.

Call me a nitpicker if you must, but I believe that clean copy speaks well of any organization. A shiny new Internet presence should be typo-free, especially considering that the new-and-improved is the online face of the U.S. Government in general, and the new President Barack Obama administration in particular.

The first gaffe that caught my eye is a small one in the new blog's introduction by Director of New Information for the White House Macon Phillips: "Our initial new media efforts will center around three priorities:"

Again, call me what you will, but that should either say "center on three priorities" or "circle around three priorities." It's a minor error that would only bother someone like me, but it wasn't the last one I spotted.

A description of the "Executive Office of the President" reads, in part: "To provide the President with the support the he or she needs ... " The he or she?

I found both of the mistakes in just a couple minutes of casual browsing.

Maybe I've set my hopes too high on what the new administration can accomplish. After all, a misapplied phrase here or proofreading hiccup there isn't the end of the Free World, and focusing attention on the recent happenings in, say, Gaza is certainly time best spent. But if there's a director whose whole job is to direct new media, I hope he hires a good copy editor.

(On a related note, check out my Book Typos blog. A recent Barnes and Noble purchase yielded a gold mine of errors.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How Much Did That Talking Crosswalk Cost?

blind person to sighted friend: "I really hate this intersection. That voice creeps me out."