Wednesday, January 20

Anals Annals of Pour Copyediting,

Oh my God, I've finally done it for reel, y'aul, and done it real good. While reading the latest collection of words by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker last night between sets of squat thrusts at my gym—an article in which he once again turns conventional wisdom on its head, then concludes by saying "That's right, I said it"—I discovered the Holy Grail of bitter, unrequited authors everywhere: a copyediting error in the New F**king Yorker, ha!

This feet of eagle-eyed apprehension has rarely been accomplished in the history of this magazine, because the tyrants at the New Yorker send anyone on their staff who makes such an error against humanity to Gitmo to be "reeducated" by E. B. White and William Strunk Jr., the stylists behind English grammar/writing bible The Elements of Style. Sure, both men are sadly dead, but they left behind them a powerful series of books on tape. (Twisted Sister provides the "enhanced" incidental music.)

The mangled passage is rendered thusly on page 27 of the January 18, 2010 edition (also click on the above image for the photographic proof):

In 2008, his firm made five billion dollars. Rarely in human history has anyone made so much money is so short a time.

Correction: rarely in human history has there been such a frightful and unseemly mangling of the English language in such an august publication. As Stephen Doocy on Fox and Friends might put it in his powerful falsetto, "This is HUGE!" The sentence should obviously read "in so short a time." (Or "is so short of dimes"? Who knows!)

Did Sarah Palin edit this article?

In conclusion, the New Yorker can no longer be trusted with prepositions and the verb to be.