Errors at the North County News continue to abound. This week’s lollapalooza shows that the North County News not only needs a fact checker to correct inaccurate information in its stories, it also needs a copy editor to pull up the newspaper’s socks grammatically.
Consider this from a story in this week’s issue by Adriane Tillman and headed “Changing of the Guard at Croton Police”:
A recent, quiet, unceremonious changing of the guard saw Croton’s Dennis Coxen retire after 22 years as police chief, and former Lieutenant Anthony Tramaglini assume the reigns.
Ms. Tillman obviously meant that newly installed Chief Tramaglini assumed the reins. There is a not-so-subtle difference between reigns and reins, although they are pronounced alike. We are indebted to The American Heritage Dictionary for the following contrasting definitions:
reign (rān) n.
rein (rān) n.
draw in the reins
* To slow down or stop by or as if by pressure on the reins.
give free/full rein to
* To release from restraints; allow to go unchecked: gave rein to her emotions.
* Close control: kept expenses on a tight rein.
The growing number of errors appearing in print media and on the Internet has been blamed on word processing programs with their built-in, non-discriminating spelling checkers, and the Internet. We have noted a large number of such errors on comments made to articles posted on Crotonblog. We cannot process comments before they appear, nor do we want to.
There’s a vast difference between a hasty comment posted on an Internet blog and a news story printed in a once-respected newspaper and repeated on its own blog. It is our considered feeling that a newspaper for which subscribers or readers pay money has an inherent obligation to avoid glaring errors of fact and grammar.