Friday, January 21, 2005

Hello?

There are few copy-editing errors that I would call "inexcusable." Time and other constraints and human fallibility result in errors that seem unfathomable to people who aren't copy editors.

But if any sort of error is inexcusable, it's an incorrect phone number. One of the cardinal rules of copy editing is that every phone number published must be checked.

4 comments:

Diego Sorbara said...

I would consider an incorrect Web site URL just as inexcusable, if not even more inexcusable. It's just about the easiest thing in the world to check out, and it takes maybe 30 seconds and a few keystrokes.

Bill said...

Yep, URLs are right up there. I allow some leeway for outages and the fact that it's fairly frequent that people write about Web sites that are about to go up.

jackv said...

At least with websites you stand a bit of a chance of figuring out what it was supposed to be. With a phone number wrong you're just stuck.

Mago said...

A wrong phone number is much worse than a bad URL for the person who's at the receiving end of the wrong number or reference. If the mistaken URL points to an actual site, the receiver isn't inconvenienced; in fact they might welcome the increased hits.