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Don’t quote me wrong!

“I remember seeing a piece of where I said something about Sweden, there was not exactly doing so great and I was very badly attacked and then the next day they had a unbelievable terrorist attack” — President Trump, May 2017

Do you see both typos in the above quote that is currently published on NBCNEWS.com?

Unfortunately our 45th US president speaks very inarticulately, interrupting himself and never quite finishing a sentence. How do you write verbatim quotes for someone who speaks this way?

If you are a supporter, you edit his quotes to make him sound less choppy.

If you have a bias against him, you not only use his words absolutely verbatim, but you magnify every cringeworthy language violation.

But the author of a piece of writing has a moral responsibility to fairly quote someone and not disrespect them. In fact, they could be on the hook for libel.

One of my pet grammar peeves is quotes that could have been tweaked slightly to avoid making the speaker look uneducated and stupid. Reporters, please don’t let your bias creep in. Relax on the verbatim bit. It’s not a court of law. If changing “gonna” to “going to” gives a more favorable impression of a person, then change it. Who’s to say your ears heard “gonna” instead of “going to” spoken very quickly? People’s speech patterns vary, especially regionally. Using slang spellings or words in a quote may also constitute an ethnic slur. Please have some sensitivity, folks.

So if you’re going to quote me, don’t get me wrong!

If you’d prefer, you can view the below screenshots full-size here.


Forbes.com’s “Report corrections” form

I wish all websites had a “Report Corrections” link!

This morning I was reading an article by Tim Worstall, contributor at Forbes.com, that has a few errors.

The first one is a real head-scratcher.

This is the type of error that will sail right past a proofreader, and can be caught only by a copyeditor.

After reading the rest of the article, I figured out the author is likely in the UK, so perhaps it’s not an error but an idiom that makes perfect sense across the pond.

So I was doubly glad that this publisher gave me a way to notify them of the possible mistake via email rather than publicly on their Twitter feed. Smart! All websites should do this.


Kim Komando’s broken breaking news

Read the writeup here: No Komando of the English language. This is a compilation of screenshots taken in 2015 and 2016.