What is appalling is the spelling skills of sub-editors

NZ Herald

Apparently school cuts appal [sic] principals. What is more appalling is the spelling skills of sub-editors.


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  • Agent BallSack

    Okay so you’re a principal and you’ve been interviewed for this piece. The first thing you do when you see the headline is have an embolism. On the bright side, Kosh can’t see anything wrong with it.

    • Three Monkeys

      Kosh hasn’t been let out for morning play-lunch yet.

  • Admin


    • Agent BallSack

      Apparently was.

  • Brian Smaller

    Pressing the Spell Check key probably was not covered in “Journalism 101: Crtl-C/Crtl-V (80 credits)”.

  • tarkwin

    If you want a real laugh try the Bream Bay News. They make the Herald look like literary giants.

  • BJ

    Aren’t journalists meant to have been top English students? 

    I guess the sub-editor had a substandard English teacher.

    • Pukakidon

       Kosh strikes again

  • Gazzaw

    Correct me if I am wrong but weren’t the APN subby jobs relocated to Sydney?

    At least they got ‘principals’ right this time.

  • jaundiced

    um… I think appal is the right spelling…

    • Paul

      Both spellings are correct.

    • Bafacu

      Ummm ….. I think not.

    • Disinfectedtwice

       Looks like both are okay. Appal is generally the English and appall US english.

    • Sthnjeff

      Okay then , I think this may actually be a Whaleoil SMOG, but as far as I am aware they actually have the speling correct. Can anyone clarify what the actual spelling is?

      • Appal is a less common usage…Media are supposed to reflect modern usage. Just looking at it and you know it doesn’t look correct.

      •  Both are correct – this stupid outcome is when someone is using software that can’t tell the context of the typing or if you’ve set English instead of the default US spelling…..Whaleoil I note your comment below – but with a lot of the 25 and unders these days we’re seeing far more of this – so common usage is no longer a shelter…..

  • thor42

    Teachers keep telling us that New Zealand has a “world-class” education system. The evidence suggests otherwise.

    Forty years ago, it was very difficult to find a spelling or grammatical error in a newspaper. That is not the case today. If education has “improved” then why has spelling become worse? 

    If it were possible to put a Victorian-era New Zealand school pupil in a spelling and grammar contest against a modern school pupil, I know which one would win. It wouldn’t be the modern pupil.

    •  Simple really – too much of today’s spelling is generated by foreign software, and kids in class are using the keyboard instead of hand writing – that really is the problem. 

      I’ve come across quite a few who’s first response to a highlighted error is “why didn’t my spell checker pick it up then?”

      • jonno1

        Umm, “whose” I think! Possessive pronoun.

      • Ha ha ha ha !!! Ta jonno1 so much, I knew someone would eventually pick it up – love this game…..

  • Paul

    What ARE appalling are the spelling skills of sub-editors (not what IS appalling…).  Skills is plural, hence the “are” rather than the “is”.

    As you were.

    • Justme

      What IS appalling ARE the spelling skills … IS/the topic. Sounds better to me :)

      •  Lovely Justme…..lol!!

  • Robt Davies

    The online version of the Oxford English Dictionary confirms ‘appal’ is an acceptable spelling.

  • rouppe

    I saw one in the Dominion Post the other day calling the Prime Minister John Keys

    •  That’s not a mistake…..it’s an alias…he he !!!

  • Never in the Dark


    Either or, as far as I can see. But what @justme:disqus  suggests is correct, which tends to indicate a correction in the thread heading is required.

  • Bunswalla

    You don’t have to go far to find a lot of much worse examples in the NZ Horrid. Take this one from this morning for example, referring to the grisly murders in Waimate as “grizzly”. I had no idea we’d been invaded by bears or sleep-deprived children, nor that either was capable of stabbing people to death.

    I pointed out their semi-literate journalist’s and sub-editor’s mistake, no doubt they’ll change it so I took a screen grab.

  • Bunswalla

    And, barely 10 minutes later, they fixed it as I advised them to. Didn’t even bother saying Thank you. Pillocks and morons with bad manners.

    • Of course they didn’t thank you – that’s
      the way of this generation – common courtesy and manners don’t exist – and who didn’t teach them that? I’m humbled by associates and friends of my grown up children who comment on how well mannered and courteous they are – it’s in the upbringing methinks.

    • Disinfectedtwice

       The big point for me is that they reacted, which means they are listening.Pity they don’t put the listening effort into getting it right first time!

  • Ricardo

    I am astounded by the mistakes made in TV captions, and not just showing the wrong name for a person, but blatant spelling and grammar errors.

  • Grammarfascist

    Neil, what is wrong with this sentence?

    “I’ve come across quite a few who’s first response to a highlighted error is “why didn’t my spell checker pick it up then?”

    •  It’s been done grammarfascist – sorry only now got back to my PC – at home

  • Greenie

    Grammar fights on internet chat boards never have a winner.

  • jonno1

    I’m appalled!

    • Never in the Dark


  • Nekminit

    NZ newspapers use British English, so appal is correct.

  • WayneO

    Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

    Grammar is the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit (Kosh).

  • Bigkransky

    Sorry chum, much as I enjoy your work, “appal”  has long been the spelling in the style books of both APN (Herald etc) and of Fairfax. In this case you are the one out of step.