LETTER: Print readers should be able to correct errors too

Thursday, September 30, 2010 | 1:48 p.m. CDT; updated 10:41 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 30, 2010

I applaud the plan, announced in Sunday's Columbia Missourian, to invite readers of the online Missourian to "....find and report errors in online content." But why stop there? How about expanding the challenge to include such goofs in the print version, as well?

Many of us still rely on the inked page product for our morning news fix, and we too cringe when we come across singular nouns mixed with plural verbs, sentences ending with prepositions, mis-use of the subjective "I" when the sentence calls for the objective "me," or the typographical relocation of an historic landmark.

Awarding readers of the online Missourian with points, and possible prizes, for pointing out errors, but not dangling such prizes in front of us print version readers, makes as much sense as the Missouri General Assembly outlawing texting while driving ONLY among teenagers.

And, by the way, in the announcement of the invitation for us to become grammar police, I found two errors:

"....who wants to generously point out..." (splitting an infinitive) and "Spell check won't help you when you have the wrong word to start with" (ending sentence with preposition).

As Sir Winston Churchill is said to have remarked: "This is something up with which I will not put."

Rod Gelatt is a professor emeritus of Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism.

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