Editorial Eye

Editorial Eye

Ms_magazine_2Those of us who work in the magazine world know how important it is to read everything many times before we send it off to the printer. But, we are all human. When mistakes happen, they can drive an editor to the top of a bridge looking for the fast way down

Yet, once the shock wears off such mistakes can be rather funny. Not to point fingers at any publication, but this one really has to rank as the top goof in magazines. Of all the words for Ms. magazine to misspell, which would be the last you’d expect to see? You guessed it: feminism. And where is the last place you’d want to make a blunder? You got it. Right there on the cover. If you are not familiar with the story, the word got through many editorial eyes to make it on the cover of the May/June 1996 issue. Right there for all to see.

As I said, I’m not calling anyone out. All editors or reporters have such skeletons in their closet. Let’s call it group therapy; sometimes as editors we just have to step back, laugh, and get up again the next day and go to work. Bless Ms. magazine for not trying to cover it up. They still have the mistake on their cover in their magazine archives.

I came across this story about similar blunders. Ray Schultz writes about problems some magazines had when sending direct mail pieces to attract subscribers.

“Take Fran Kane, who started a new job at Town & Country magazine several years ago just in time to send a 5 million-piece mailing. The problem, as Kane found out, was that the outer envelope featured the name Town & County,” writes Schultz. “I now know how to spell county and country,” said Kane.

Schultz highlights one better. “It seemed that some agency hot-shots inserted some dummy copy in test samples for a mailing by British Telecom to its high-end customers. But they forgot that they did it, and as a result, the salutation said: “Dear Rich Bastard.”

It went to ten million people.