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

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.


Anonymous 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.

Unknown said...

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

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