Call me crazy, but I am one of those people who likes to read newspaper corrections. Yes, I am every editor’s worst nightmare. It is probably because I have made my fair share of writing and reporting mistakes, and so I must derive some sort of weird pleasure from other writers’ mistakes.
One of my favorite corrections sections is in the Travel section of The New York Times. I bet nobody else reads it ,although it can be quite entertaining. This is my favorite correction of this week: “An article on April 20 about Rome at night misidentified the figure from mythology represented in the centerpiece sculpture of the Trevi Fountain. It is Oceanus, the Titan who the ancient Greeks believed ruled the watery elements – not Neptune, the Roman god of the sea.”
That wouldn’t be so bad, but this is what they included as an excuse: “The error has appeared for years in travel guides about Rome, is found extensively in Internet references, and has infiltrated at least five other articles in The Times since 1981.”
Great. Some slacker once put a false piece of information in a guidebook and it’s been picked up repeatedly in the last 27 years. You would think that the NY Times wouldn’t rely on guidebooks for their fact-checking.