Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    To save money a lot of the newspapers are eliminating copy editors. I only edit a medical journal (J Shoulder Elbow Surgery), but copy editors are invaluable. They save me a lot of work. I think a lot of these mistakes are showing up because of the lack of copy editors.
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    There's a story now on the front page about Caster Semenya dedicating her Commonwealth Games 800 win to the rural youth of Africa. It includes this interesting bit of misinformation:

    >>She led from start to finish before wiping out the 16-year-old Commonwealth record of Seychelles athlete Joanna Houareau. That time of 1:57.35 was set in Manchester, England back in 2002<<

    This piqued my curiosity since I had never heard of Joanna Houareau. I did some checking and learned that she was a sprinter who ran the 100 in the 1999 World Championships and the 2000 Olympic Games. She was eliminated in the heats in both--not surprising in view of the fact that her PR was 11.89. I doubt if she ever ran an 800 in her life.

    So then I asked myself how anyone might have thought she held the CG 800 record. It turns out that that was what the official start lists said! In fact, 1:57.35 was the meet record, but it was held by triple World Champion Maria Mutola.

    OK, so now I understand how that fake news got into print. But writer of the article (which appeared on the website of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) was obviously clueless about track and field. Anyone with any background in the sport would have been suspicious of that and asked the same questions I did.

    I still haven't a clue as to how that nonsense made it to the start lists of the Commonwealth Games and was never noticed or corrected by anyone there.
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    How about this for a clueless headline writer:

    >>Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Rupp renew Boston Marathon duel<<

    https://www.eurosport.com/athletics/...85/story.shtml
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    Regarding the previously unheard of CWG 800m record holder (noted above), I saw that too, and wrote it off to my own ignorance, thinking, "wow, how did I never hear of that athlete and that performance?" (But I never got around to looking it up.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandfman View Post
    How about this for a clueless headline writer:

    >>Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Rupp renew Boston Marathon duel<<...
    that's a time warp quote, looking ahead to the next decade when the IAAF's mixed-sex policy comes into full play :-)
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    Here's a good one:

    >> Shalene Flanagan had an off day. If you’re not an especially lively running fan you may know the 36-year-old Flanagan, the American woman who’s the reigning New York City Marathon champion and basically the Usain Bolt of distance running. <<

    https://www.golfdigest.com/story/the...thon-standards

    I'm not sure why Golf Digest would be covering the Boston Marathon, but they should stick to golf if they think that a runner who's never held a World Record and never won an Olympic or World Championship race could be considered the Usain Bolt of distance running.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandfman View Post
    Here's a good one:

    >> Shalene Flanagan had an off day. If you’re not an especially lively running fan you may know the 36-year-old Flanagan, the American woman who’s the reigning New York City Marathon champion and basically the Usain Bolt of distance running. <<

    https://www.golfdigest.com/story/the...thon-standards

    I'm not sure why Golf Digest would be covering the Boston Marathon, but they should stick to golf if they think that a runner who's never held a World Record and never won an Olympic or World Championship race could be considered the Usain Bolt of distance running.
    Well, as an editor of that magazine, I also have no idea why they are discussing the marathon, unless it relates to the length of rounds anymore.

    I used to write a column for them on medical issues, and for some reason I've been listed as the medical editor for years, although I haven't written anything for them in over 10 years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erickem View Post
    And all the buffoons pronounce it

    de-cath-a-lete.
    And prior to Rio, many airports showed Ashton Eaton in ads for United Airlines, noting that he competed in the Decathalon.
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    To show that is endemic, especially with copy editors, I saw an obituary this AM of a US Olympian (swimmer), noting that "Paul Bearers included her brother, ... "
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    Alas, I fear that copy editors are a dying breed.

    (I suppose we should be thankful that there are still newspapers.)
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