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Posts Tagged ‘Henry Fuhrmann’

Celebrating the Currency of a Great Newspaper Headline

If you click the Web version of a February 17, 2012 LA Times article by Devorah Lauter, the headline reads:”France’s Former Currency is Devalued to Zilch.” Not bad; and, as assistant managing editor for LAT copy desks Henry Fuhrmann noted during a fun Sunday afternoon presentation with colleagues at the Festival of Books, any time the word “zilch” can be worked into an article headline is usually a good thing.

But as the LA Times now does routinely, the print headline for this article was altogether different. Rather famously, here’s what copy editor Laura Dominick conjured up for the newspaper version:

This headline recently helped Dominick win second prize at the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) national conference in St. Louis. She beat out colleagues from the New York Times and Washington Post thanks to her cheeky franks-and-beans word play and several other headlines, including the equally memorable Gallic goof “Look, the Dark de Triomphe.”

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New Yorker Bungles Its ‘Correction of the Week’

This particular LA Times correction was published in June of 2010. It was admittedly a pretty funny one, involving the accidental swap of the word “antidote” for  ”anecdote” in a freelance Health section piece by Alene Dawson.

Even funnier is the fact that the New Yorker has chosen to source this bit of LAT history for its March 4, 2013 issue “Correction of the Week.” From the reaction-post by LAT reader’s representative Deirdre Edgar:

Times assistant managing editor Henry Fuhrmann, who pointed out the curiousness of the date, said, “The magazine’s fact-checkers are legendarily methodical, but still…”

Maybe in a year or two we can look forward to seeing some others from our personal Hall of Shame, such as the “blue-color” immigrants in the city of Bell.

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It’s All Dutch… Errr… Danish to the LA Times

Yesterday, the LA Times ran a small, rather mundane correction on its op-ed page.

Free speech: A March 9 Op-Ed about the erosion of free-speech protections referred to a controversy over 2005 cartoons that satirized the prophet Muhammad. Those cartoons were Danish, not Dutch.

Not a big deal. This Fishie once mistook Lake Forrest for Lakewood and got annihilated for it. It happens. Only one problem: a Times reader dug up the fact that Dutch/Danish mixup had happened not once, but no less than seven times in the past few years. Times reader representative Deirdre Edgar cataloged the errors in a post–which including another Dutch/Danish Muhammad cartoon screw-up.

Assistant managing editor Henry Fuhrmann was not pleased at the discovery.

“One aspect of good editing is what I think of as pattern recognition: knowing the quirks of a particular writer, the nuances of a certain subject, the grammatical and factual errors that come up time and time again. Here, though, the pattern defies explanation.

“Errors of this sort are always a good reminder that we can be more diligent. We truly have nothing against the Danes (or the Dutch).”

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