Good, Bad, and Ugly

Reader reaction to Reuters news

Send in the platypuses?


Wooden sarcophaguses found in Egypt tomb

CAIRO (Reuters) – Japanese archaeologists working in Egypt have found four wooden sarcophaguses and associated grave goods which could date back up to 3,300 years, the Egyptian government said on Thursday.

Your article contained several repetitions of a pluralization error. The plural of sarcophagus is sarcophagi not sarcophaguses. Are there any openings for experienced proofreaders? If so I would like to know where to submit a resume.


A recent release prominently refers to wooden “sarcophaguses”  discovered in Egypt. While I’m generally lenient with grammar in the fast-paced news industry, this is a glaring error. The plural for “sarcophagus” is “sarcophagi.”


I was amazed by the volume of reader response on this one. Forming plurals for such words is a matter of style, not right and wrong, and the decision often hinges on the extent to which Anglicized plurals have become commonly used. For example, Reuters uses octopuses instead of octopi, indexes rather than indices, etc.  We are not alone in this. The AP Stylebook calls for referendums, syllabuses… GBU Editor

Not humorous…


“On a more poignant note, Heath Ledger won a post humorous best supporting actor Oscar…”

it’s posthumous not post humorous. You’re supposed to know better.


Ouch. We corrected: GBU Editor

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He wasn’t rescued…


Stanford surrenders passport, Antigua units seizedAlso, a federal judge presiding over the Stanford case, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, was rescued because a relative has “substantial” Stanford holdings, according to a court filing.I am hoping that the judge was not ‘rescued’ as that suggests that somehow he’s getting ‘his’ money back. I suspect it was supposed to be ‘recused’.A.M.A number of readers noticed that one, which was a combination of spellcheck and human error. We corrected: GBU Editor

Texan billionaire Allen Stanford talks during an interview in Miami in a 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

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To legume it may concern…


British study points to peanut allergy treatment

Scientists say peanut allergies are on the rise worldwide, but nobody knows why. There is no cure and people with the condition must avoid even the tiniest amount of food containing the nut.

Previous attempts to gradually build people’s immunity to nuts failed after producing serious side effects, possibly because the trials involved injections rather than the more gentle doses the Cambridge team used, the researchers said.

Reform, or just change?


Chavez seeks re-election reform in Venezuela vote

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelans voted on Sunday on a reform proposal that would allow President Hugo Chavez to stay in power for as long as he keeps winning elections, his second bid to extend his rule after a decade in power.

Did anyone proofread the title of the Chavez article? How can getting rid of term limits by a thug like Chavez be called a reform? The “Birth of a Dictator” might be more appropriate.

Laundry list…


Clinton aims to soothe jittery allies, woo China


Analysts advised Clinton not to confront the Chinese with a series of demands on her first visit as secretary of state.

That said, the laundry list is long.

Perhaps it was not so wise to use the term “laundry list” in an article about the Chinese! Thank you for giving my friends and me an unexpected chuckle.

Canada, not Canadian


I am a Canadian citizen who does not share her citizenship with geese. The reporter clearly states the plane may have hit a flock of “canadian geese”, to pluralise these birds, it is quite simply put as canada goose for one and canada geese for two or more, to call them canadian is to give them citizenship. Just thought you might that info for future.

A proud Canadian

Several readers pointed this out to us, just as they did the last time it came up: GBU Editor

She’s not tipsy…


I clicked on one of your video reports today at Might want to let your reporter or voice-over folks know that the foreign minister of Israel’s first name is Tzipi, not TIPPSY.

If you can’t get that right, one wonders what else you aren’t getting right.

Prudes vs nudes?


The reporter in this story about topless sunbathing says sunbathers in Sydney “will have to wait and see whether a new, more prudish standard is set for them.”

Is it your job to report news, or to pass moral judgments? In my view your characterization of the objection of some to topless sunbathing as “prudish” fits the category of judge, instead of reporter. Report the news, and let the viewer make the moral judgments.

Was it a plummet?


Retailers’ holiday sales plummet

NEW YORK – Retailers’ sales fell as much as 4 percent during the holiday season, as the weak economy and bad weather…

Plummet? You really need to use the word plummet when talking about 4%? Wow.

i know you want to catch the attention of readers. But honestly… plummet? You are not helping the economy by using terms like that.