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June 1, 2007

How Ironical

Last year's National Spelling Bee winner Katharine Close spelled ursprache correctly to close out her competition. In its recap of the event, the New York Daily News couldn't match her feat. This year, Getty Images (and publications like Slate that use its pictures) couldn't even get Close's name spelled right. But if the media were instead covering a grammar bee, the irony would be even thicker.

That's because, in their haste to produce copy about precocious middle-schoolers, many journalists and editors seem to have forgotten basic parts of speech and punctuation. Gelf has sic-ed its editors on them:

San Francisco Chronicle
And make no mistake, when a long shot comes in, whether it is [sic] middle-school speller or a race horse, some serious money can change hands.

Palm Beach Post
After surviving a tense instant replay earlier, Zhang took a deep breath and correctly spelled her word in the sixth round of the [sic] to qualify for the final rounds.

Marion Chronicle Tribune
Although she correctly spelled "guzzle" in the first oral round of spelling—and got her chance on stage and under the bright television lights—she did not score high enough on the 25-word written test to be among the 107 spellers who advanced to additional oral rounds [sic] She did earn three bonus points for the spelling of "guzzle."







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