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January 04, 2012

Baron Davis: The difference a letter makes

By now some of you, perhaps even many of you, know about the typo in today's Observer, in the Charlotte Bobcats preview box. That box attributed an unfortunate injury to New York Knicks guard Baron Davis, whose team plays against the Bobcats tonight.

Here's the explanation of what happened:

Observer reporter Rick Bonnell wrote the preview box, and in it he wrote that Davis, a former Charlotte Hornet, is recovering from a "herniated disc" in his back. The box was edited by an experienced copy editor, the reporter's first line of defense, and moved along in the production process as written.

The next stop was a final read by a second editor, another experienced employee who recognized that "herniated disc" doesn't conform to the newspaper's style for that type of injury, and that it should be "herniated disk." That editor tried to type in the correction, but ended up with an unfortunate typo.

Because part of that second editor's job is to send stories to the typesetter, the typo was moved along without another set of eyes to catch the error, and that led to what you saw in today's paper. And no doubt to a lot of snickering.

Baron, get well soon.

-- Mike Persinger, executive sports editor


Posted by Observer Sports on January 4, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Permalink


This is awesome haha

Posted by: Fletcher | Jan 4, 2012 12:59:23 PM

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah... Idiots!

Posted by: Seriously | Jan 4, 2012 1:18:13 PM

Proofreading at the CO? When did that start?

Posted by: Eatumup | Jan 4, 2012 1:25:02 PM

HA HA !!!! What a bunch of DA's! Especially you Mike....

Posted by: Heywood Jablowme | Jan 4, 2012 1:50:17 PM

Same thing happened in an NC State media guide. Said Archie Miller had "2 bulging dicks".

Posted by: Pack | Jan 4, 2012 1:50:35 PM

Out of curiosity, what is your reason for preferring the "disk" spelling? In my style book, and also in the AMA's official listings "disc" is appropriate when referring to anatomical items.

Posted by: John W. | Jan 4, 2012 2:16:21 PM

this is on the front page of reddit.com today. good one LOL.

Posted by: stephen | Jan 4, 2012 2:33:38 PM

dick happens. moving on...

Posted by: apoint2bemade | Jan 4, 2012 2:41:13 PM

Proofreading appears to be in short supply regularly at the CO. Also in today's CO.com, "Cold Swells Rolls into Charlotte Shelters"... This is a regular event. Either you don't care about careless writing, you don't proofread or you don't recognize it when you see it?? You pick.

Posted by: Eric | Jan 4, 2012 3:11:22 PM

her·ni·at·ed (hûrn-td)
Of or relating to a bodily structure that has protruded through an abnormal opening in the wall that contains it.

Posted by: DougDoo | Jan 4, 2012 3:37:28 PM

John, my guess is the Observer uses the AP Stylebook, which says this: Use the disc spelling for phonograph records and related terms (disc jockey), optical and laser-based devices (a Blu-ray Disc) and for disc brake. Use disk for computer-related references and medical references, such as a slipped disk.

Posted by: Amy | Jan 4, 2012 3:38:58 PM

As many typos (print and online) that the CO has, this type of typo was bound to happen.

Posted by: KW | Jan 4, 2012 3:54:55 PM

hilarious. fixing a small typo that isn't really a typo to in turn.....make one of the worst typos possible.

any comments from b-diddy? no wonder he's not playing. and cleveland amnestied dude with a herniated dick? that's just rubbing salt into dick wounds.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 4, 2012 4:03:55 PM

"Christain Laettner took notice of the herniated dick" stated Coach K, when interrupting him in his dorm....

Posted by: chris | Jan 4, 2012 4:20:08 PM

Most people just thought it was business as usual at the CO.

Posted by: Shane | Jan 4, 2012 5:42:37 PM

I had that same injury Spring Break 1987.

stellar work by the CO.

Posted by: Ace Juniper | Jan 4, 2012 6:03:41 PM

I love the Bobcats.

Posted by: George Hanson | Jan 4, 2012 6:09:18 PM

That is the most ridiculous story ever. Who cares.

Posted by: Skip | Jan 4, 2012 6:10:18 PM

What's so wrong with that? It's a typo.

Yes it's funny, kinda like Schweddy Balls and Spotted Dick.

If you don't know the latter, look it up.

Posted by: Wiley Coyote | Jan 4, 2012 7:33:08 PM

Guys, don't worry it's not like you're a real newspaper like the Raleigh News and Observer.

Posted by: Fat Tony | Jan 4, 2012 7:44:08 PM

To paraphrase a great Lewis Grizzard quip about mistakes in newspapers, "What do you expect. It only costs a quarter." . . . or at today's prices - 50 cents.

Posted by: david | Jan 4, 2012 8:14:55 PM

I hope his di*k gets better soon.

Posted by: Steve Gilmore | Jan 4, 2012 8:52:46 PM

Funny how the only time the Observer will apologize for it's newspaper reporting skills is when it admits a typo that's vulgar.

The true vulgarity is demonstrated in it's consistent, leftist news approach to writing and releasing biased 'news' articles with a spin to defeat anyone who doesn't subscribe to their ideology.

Posted by: Kurly | Jan 4, 2012 8:58:37 PM


Posted by: Yvonne | Jan 4, 2012 9:15:03 PM

Did he also have a herniated wrist?

Posted by: Dick | Jan 4, 2012 9:22:03 PM

Amy, the AP stylebook is wrong. For ALL things medical, it is "disc" from the Latin "discus". Perhaps if the editor had half a brain, he'd have verified the same, before making a bigger blunder.

Posted by: Hoagie58 | Jan 4, 2012 10:03:47 PM

Don't worry, it was in the newspaper. No one had seen it.

Posted by: Spanky | Jan 4, 2012 10:27:51 PM

Amy, as Hoage58 stated "the AP stylebook is wrong." Also there are "very few" publishers if any that conform to the AP style. Most publishers conform to MLA style.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 4, 2012 10:44:28 PM

The World is round. So is the ball and the rim. But this article is ZERO!

Posted by: arky | Jan 5, 2012 1:43:20 AM

If only all those responding had a newspaper that they could write and edit and distribute so we could see their perfect and unbiased literary magic.

First, it's not as easy as you think it is.

Second, it's not as glamorous a job as the movies make it out to be.

Third, there's little to no money in it. Hence the layoffs, the long hours and low pay.

Fourth, it's not like there's a deep bench to turn to. They're doing more with less constantly. Just because you're used to going back and editing your blog post doesn't mean you need to be so critical of the paper when they make a mistake. It's fish wrapping tomorrow anyway. Get over yourselves.

Posted by: WrittenMediaSympathizer | Jan 5, 2012 9:49:37 AM

Joe writes, as if he knows what he's talking about, "Also there are "very few" publishers if any that conform to the AP style. Most publishers conform to MLA style."

Virtually every daily newspaper in the U.S. uses the AP Stylebook, with varying exceptions.

But thanks for playing.

Posted by: bigyaz | Jan 5, 2012 11:12:02 AM

Thanks O for giving me a laugh....everyone should laugh more in 2012 !!

Posted by: Scott | Jan 5, 2012 2:00:41 PM

Ending with a simple sorry instead of hack one-liner would have been appreciated.

Posted by: Ed | Jan 7, 2012 11:15:39 AM

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