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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How about a howler hotline?

It's not uncommon to spot typos online. I see them everyday on news and other websites (including my own). It's a reality of web publishing - you move faster, push copy through fewer pairs of hands and relax in the knowledge that it takes two ticks to fix typos once they've been spotted (unlike the poor old newspaper which has to live with its mistakes glaring back at it from library reading rooms for ever more).

And clearly I'm not alone. I see blog posts cropping up complaining about typos in headlines on news sites more and more. Here's one from a couple of days ago - a typo on spotted and blogged by Snice.

I think Snice is a little harsh in his blog post, but on the upside - he wants to help. He tried to get in touch with to help them fix their site but got no reply.

I've tried to do the same but haven't been able to find a suitable address.

Wouldn't it be a good idea for news sites to have a way for the public to point out typos and other errors? Imagine it. All you have to do is set up an email address, promote it, make sure your duty web editors are copied into it, and hey presto, free proofreading.