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Extra! Extra! Spell-Check Omitted!


The Folha de S.Paulo should rethink its digital revolution and consider showing more respect to the venerable art of copy editing. A successful Turing test for digital language tools –autocomplete, grammar hints, spell-check, machine translation and the like — is not just around the corner, although all of these are useful in their own way if used with the proper caution.

It is a mistake, however, to assume that interns and first-year journalists are seasoned enough for the copy desk — especially as it still involves the writing of headlines, in some newsrooms.

Look here: «Argetina» is a non-existent country in any medium, from cave paintings at Lascaux to fourth-dimension hyperdigital. Worse: This mangled headline was rotating every 15 seconds with three other lead-in elements with links to the inside pages. Is this not what local pros call a barriga?

“Copy editor” and “copyeditor” may both be correct, by the way, depending on the standard dictionary and style guide used by the client publication.

I am a Merriam-Webster and Chicago Manual of Style man, myself, with the Associated Press Stylebook (or possibly “style book”)  reserved for use in periodical print writing, where precision and efficiency count.

Here in Brazil, I will occasionally refer to the style guides of the Estado de S. Paulo — I prefer it — and the Folha.


Espera-se de revisores de jornal que sejam jornalistas com amplas qualificações. Assim como juizes são advogados, astronautas são pilotos de jatos, e agentes federais são no fundo policiais, os que labutam no copidesque dos jornais são jornalistas primeiro e principalmente. Muitos, e provavelmente a maioria de nós temos experiencia fazendo reportagens, enquanto quem não tem essa experiência tem pelo menos as capacidades básicas do repórter.

Fonte: The Slot (inglês)