Dear Editor, How’s Your Grammar?

The Miami Herald and daily fishwrapper has slipped to a new low today.

5 June 2007

Dear Editor:

I have been a subscriber of the Miami Herald for well over 20 years and I read it almost every single day. Lately the numbers of errors in proofreading have been utterly appalling. I am not sure who, if anyone, proofreads your articles, but they are in desperate need of a new career more suited their skill level. In today’s paper you had two grave errors after which I gave up reading and tossed the whole thing in the recycling bin.

I will assume that the reporters themselves are committing these errors, and they certainly should know better. However, your proofreader has one job: and that’s to make sure these offenses don’t reach the public. The public at large is already struggling with basic grammar, and for the Herald to let these sorts of errors out for people to see, and possibly think are correct is inexcusable. In today’s paper there were two of the most heinous grammar errors known to man.

First: ‘The Fillmore Miami Beach will open it’s doors in October’ was a headline on the Front Page of section C. Secondly, in today’s article on various water beverages, the same error appears again: ‘WaterPlus drinks like a juice because of it’s intense fruit flavoring.’

Please inform your proofreader that IT’S is a contraction for IT IS or, less commonly, IT HAS. It’s certainly not a possessive. Almost five years ago, I wrote your office after a similar rash of errors and the editor at the time wrote me back and argued with me. Really. I almost didn’t write this letter, but it’s been pretty bad lately and you need to do something.

I would respectfully request you please send your proofreader(s) back to fifth grade for a retraining program. This is a poor reflection on what was once a great paper. I am sure your employees are educated but one wouldn’t know it from reading.


Eric A. Seiden

Leave a Reply