John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to email@example.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Know your U.S. Presidents
An errant classified "personal" ad which appeared in Thursday's Times Observer has drawn the attention of law enforcement officials.
A person from Warren placed the ad, which apparently alludes to the wish that President Obama meet an untimely end by linking him with four assassinated presidents. The ad representative didn't make the connection among the four other presidents mentioned [emphasis added] and mistakenly allowed the ad to run.
Upon realizing the mistake early Thursday morning, the ad was immediately discontinued and the identity of the person who placed the ad was turned over to Warren City Police as per newspaper policy. The local police department forwarded the information to federal authorities, as per department policy.
The Times Observer apologizes for the oversight.
The ad — thank you, Mr. Romenesko — read: “May Obama follow in the footsteps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!"