Good, Bad, and Ugly

Reader reaction to Reuters news

Bad behavior on our part?


Jamie Oliver health approach “doesn’t work”

BRITAIN-DIANA/BRIGHTON, England (Reuters) – Lecturing people on how to live a healthy life can be counterproductive unless individuals can be persuaded to change their behavior, new health minister Andrew Lansley said Wednesday.

This article, which is unambiguously a British story, uses the American spelling of behaviour. If you want to retain British readers, you need to provide us with articles in our own language, not the language of a foreign country thousands of miles away.


We try to separate the two languages, but don’t always succeed.

I’m so sorry you had to be exposed to the way we spell behavior in our foreign country, but I’m happy you were able to work out that behaviour was what we were really talking about: GBU Editor

Jamie Oliver at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London, in a 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Pejorative word?



California transit cop verdict sparks looting

The word “cop” is a slang term. When used to refer to police, it is a pejorative. The use of the word “cop” by news media reflects laziness, unprofessionalism and disrespect.


I would describe that word as informal, the same thing my dictionary calls it.

As far as I can tell it was not used in our actual stories. However, it is a very convenient word to use in headlines, where it takes up a lot less space than officer or policeman: GBU Editor

Very unfortunate headline


Tired Gay succumbs to Dix in 200 meters

ATHLETICSEUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) – Olympic bronze medalist Walter Dix edged out Tyson Gay in the former world champion’s hotly-anticipated return to the 200 meters at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on Saturday.

Not a sports fan, nor a regular Reuters reader. But I have to ask, after a hot day in NYC watching stupid reporters actually trying to fry an egg on the sidewalk, why are you not better or smarter than them?

The vice squad, again…


gbu vice 4990

I believe that your headline might more appropriately be rendered, “steel vise,” than “steel vice.”


This has come up here before. In the U.S. we tighten a vise, but in British English they tighten a vice, as you can see in this Oxford English Dictionary entry.



Nebraska town latest in US to fight illegal immigrants

MEXICO-CALDERON/ARIZONAKANSAS CITY, Mo, June 21 (Reuters) – Voters in a small Nebraska town on Monday added to an anti-immigration sentiment sweeping parts of the United States, voting to ban the hiring or renting of property to illegal immigrants.

It looks as though an editor with some sense wrote the ‘illegal immigrants’ headline, and your wildly biased writers wrote the incredible line, “added to an anti-immigration sentiment sweeping parts of the United States”

The wrong word…


Mark Twain’s tribute to daughter sells for $242,500

gbu twain 280Twain spent the last four years of his life recording his life for prosperity but included strict instructions that many of the pieces appear no sooner than 100 years after his death.

In the last sentence of the article, shouldn’t the word “prosperity” actually be “posterity”?

Oil spill victims?


Over 300 dead birds are likely Gulf spill victims

OIL-RIG/LEAKLOS ANGELES, May 24 (Reuters) – More than 300 sea birds, nearly 200 turtles and 19 dolphins have been found dead along the U.S. Gulf Coast during the first five weeks of BP’s huge oil spill off Louisiana, wildlife officials reported on Monday.

When did birds start becoming victims? They’re birds, not humans. You people are getting wackier every day.

Real confusion?


Brazil stocks, real tumble on euro zone woes

BRAZIL/Just a grammar correction, but in this use, I believe “reel” would be correct.


Sigh.  There was no mistake. The real is Brazil’s currency. We should be aware that this has caused reader confusion in the past, as well: GBU Editor

Call in the vice squad?


South Korea to take ship case to U.N

h-UsYrEe201qKN6RvE-H_QC_yNp8rLqM7q2IxK-Y7cs3xBS6NmhMQBlvlCbRDlS5hp3uefOaMDs11XtiSwb8xkY1kriILAwRss-G9x7Uc7sXr0WumKrc2Lqvw66Te3RtNZhKiYptHq0AHOJJJ29EcSBXN0ciiFssaQ9toL3-Ycw4818sG_ZULGJkhxEeLn3RIOvzm6ISEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said on Sunday it would take the case of its sunken naval vessel to the U.N. Security Council to try to tighten the economic vice on impoverished North Korea after accusing it of torpedoing the ship.

Reuters has got to do better on writing and editing English! An economic VISE, not VICE!

Separating the chaff from the chafe…


SPECIAL REPORT-How the White House learned to love the drone

USA/WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) – By all appearances, the Obama administration wanted him alive, not dead.

The Obama White House chaffs at suggestions its policies could make it harder to capture wanted militants.