KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf
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Friday, September 07, 2007

Editing Is Political

DSCC bumper sticker needs a comma

I just e-mailed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) about its new freebie:
I really like your "Sorry W" bumper sticker. There's one problem, though: it needs punctuation to prevent a misread.

As it stands, it reads: "Sorry W." Without a comma, it means that W is sorry; the word sorry is functioning as an adjective describing W. (I'll say he's sorry! He's the sorriest excuse for a president that I've ever seen!) But it needs to read: "Sorry, W" (note the comma). That would mean what you intended: "I am sorry, W, but ..."

Please say you'll correct this error. I'd hate for Americans to think that the DSCC is illiterate!


Katharine O'Moore-Klopf
KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984sm


Now, I'm assuming that there's a period implied after W (a period is often assumed at the end of a line in signs), so I didn't tell the DSCC that it needs to insert one. The difference in font size between the sticker's first line and its second implies that each line is a stand-alone sentence.

But I'm appalled at how few people these days know that that comma is absolutely necessary in that construction. I don't want to vote for anyone whose promoters can't get simple PR materials right. It just makes the candidates look stupid.



2 comments:

alicia said...

Great catch!

I've emailed several websites, magazines, etc. in the past about even more blatant mistakes than that. Of course, no one ever responded, haha. A few months after I emailed one website about an Paris Hilton-related article and the sentence they goofed by repeating a phrase in it twice, back-to-back, I checked to see if the correction had been made. It hadn't.

Nancy said...

Just be glad they didn't use straight quotes or the wrong curly quotes.

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