Good, Bad, and Ugly

Reader reaction to Reuters news

Gunfire verbs…


Photos add bizarre twist to Tucson suspect’s frantic last night

USA-SHOOTING/CONGRESSWOMANLoughner is accused of spraying a crowd with a semi-automatic pistol outside a Safeway grocery store last Saturday, killing six people and wounding 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition at a Tucson hospital.

At 9:41 a.m., he took a cab up to the Safeway store, entering with the driver to get change shortly before 10 a.m. Ten minutes later, he pumped bullet after bullet into the crowd at a congressional meeting with Giffords.

I want to point out errors in the article that was run by Reuters, this is not correct. Semiautomatic firearms do not spray bullets, they are fired from the firearm.

Also, “pumped” refers to shotgun type firearms, not semiautomatic firearms like the one used by the lone gunman.

Giffords headline


Giffords’ brain benefits from benign route of bullet

USA-SHOOTING/CONGRESSWOMANTUCSON, Ariz, Jan 9 (Reuters) – U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords suffered what her doctors on Sunday called a “devastating wound” to her brain in a point-blank shooting, but the bullet’s relatively benign trajectory bodes well for her recovery.

“Giffords’ brain benefits from benign route of bullet” — so she should be happy?!

Typo in the lede…


US payrolls up 103,000 in Dec, jobless rate falls

USA-BERNANKE/NEW YORK, Jan 7  (Reuters) – The U.S. economy created far fewer jobs that expected in December, suggesting the Federal Reserve will complete its asset buying program, but the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest in more than 1-1/2 years.

You have a major TYPO. Nothing looks worse than bad grammar in the lead sentence in big print:

Be our guests?


Snow and ice ground flights in Europe

GERMANY/In Germany, Frankfurt airport operator Fraport said 470 flights had been canceled on Sunday so far and a worsening of weather conditions was expected from noon onwards.

“The airport halls are packed with flight guests,” a spokeswoman said, adding that about 1,000 people were forced to stay at the airport overnight.

Bolshevik, or not?


Top Russian spy defects after betraying ring in U.S.

MEXICO TROTSKY“We know who he is and where he is,” the unidentified official was quoted as saying. “Do not doubt that a Mercader has been sent after him already.”

Ramon Mercader was the Russian agent who murdered exiled Bolshevik Leon Trotsky with an ice axe in Mexico in 1940.

We should get this right


Gold set to extend post-Fed gains; peak in 2011: Reuter’s poll

MARKETS-STOCKS/In this headline I believe the name of your organization is spelled incorrectly by yourselves – with an apostrophe.


Indeed. Pretty embarrassing. We fixed it: GBU Editor

A 999.9 fine gold 100 troy ounce Engelhard gold bar is seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, November 9, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Stating the obvious?


Gunmen kill 13 at birthday party in Mexico

MEXICO-SHOOTING/“I don’t know what happened. I was here with my son, who is a boy,” said the man, who declined to be identified.

In your news story, there is a quote from a man who refused to give his name. The man is quoted saying, “I was here with my son, who is a boy.”

No wheeze, please…


German “heatball” wheeze outwits EU light bulb ban

EU-ENERGY/LIGHT-BULBSI realize that the level of English competency has fallen dramatically during this day and age, but unless the German in question has a serious case of the flu, I assume you meant to use the word “Whiz” in your headline.

When a news outlet such as “Reuters” makes such basic spelling errors in its headlines, and it remains unnoticed for this long, what is the English-speaking world coming to, in terms of education!!

He’s still alive…


Armless pianist plays with toes to win “China’s Got Talent”

USALiu Wei, 23, who lost both his arms aged 10 when he was electrocuted during a game of hide-and-seek, defeated 7-year-old standup comedian Zhang Fengxi at the final on Sunday at the Shanghai Stadium, the Shanghai Daily reported.

Your reporter needs to look up the definition of electrocution.


Which you are  saying because in the U.S., every definition I can find says electrocution is fatal.

A healthy change in the language?


PepsiCo trims forecast, bets on healthier food

PEPSICO/EDITORS: Foods are more nutritious or more healthful.

They are not “healthier,” unless they are more robust, in good health.

A Careful Reader

You have my sympathy.

That same distinction was drilled into me long ago, too. I was taught that people are healthy, foods are healthful.