Check Name Spellings



I’ve made a few spelling mistakes in the last year. It can happen easier than you think. It’s really something you have to be diligent with. On deadline or not, it can happen to anyone.

If you are anything like me, having a correction for a spelling mistake is depressing and aggravating.

So make sure you check and doublecheck your names.

I’ve made the mistake before. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.

Why am I bringing this up?

This. An article from Slate on HBO’s “Girls” where everything seemed to be spelled wrong.

After Poynter pointed it out, a correction was made to the piece

Correction, Jan. 11, 2013: This review misspelled basically everyone’s name. It’s Hannah Horvath, not Hannah Hovrath; Marnie is played by Allison Williams, not Alison Williams; and Ray is played by Alex Karpovsky, not Zosia Mamet.

It reminded me how easy mistakes can happen. We cannot and should not rely on editors to catch our mistakes.

As a reporter, it’s our responsibility to make sure we catch these mistakes and others.

Misspelled names are probably the most common corrections seen in newspapers. No newspaper is clear of these types of corrections. It happens at the NYT as well as the small weekly papers. It’s just so easy to do.

I guess I’m a bit hypersensitive to this correction because my name was misspelled a lot growing up. Stankiewicz isn’t a fun name to learn to spell, never mind having others try to spell it. When Starbucks employees misspell our names it makes us laugh, but when it’s online or in a paper it’s much, much different.

The trick is to check the names we use and doublecheck them. It’s the only way. It’s on our shoulders.

This diligence has been thrown at us since college and we should make it a habit of doing so. Accuracy is a journalist’s “badge” of credibility. Without it, what are we?



One Response to Check Name Spellings

  1. Pingback: Try to Learn From Your Mistakes | Just Starting Out

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