Charlotte Observer executive sports editor Mike Persinger explains how “herniated dick” got into today’s newspaper:
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.
I asked the sports editor what kind of reactions he’s getting. He emailed:
I haven’t gotten many direct calls. In this social media age, Twitter is the response vehicle of choice. Lots of cyber-giggling going on. Even @Baron_Davis has tweeted about the typo. Nice that he can laugh about it.
The person who has taken this the hardest is the copy editor who made the typo. He takes his responsibility, and his role in preserving reader trust, seriously, as we all do. And this is a mistake any of us could have made.
[There are dozens of comments about this on my Facebook wall. Friend me if you want to read them and join the discussion.]