• Marco Bellucci

“As a 35-year subscriber to The Times, I continue to be disappointed in the number of typos that have become chronic and, sorry to say, expected on a daily basis,” reads a letter received recently by the New York Times. I always look forward to After Deadline, the series in which standards editor Philip Corbett takes his colleagues to task for their various spelling, grammatical, and editing errors. This week’s installment opens with a discussion on readers’ perceptions of the Times‘ declining proofreading standards, as evidenced by, for instance, the phrase “committee that overseas foreign aid,” a malapropism that produced in Times readers a “distress,” according to Corbett, that was “hard to ease.”

While hard-to-ease distress over a simple typo might suggest a condition in need of medication, it’s also important to remember that it’s fun, sometimes, to be a humorless pedant—I mean, we just celebrated National Punctuation Day around here, so we’ll throw no shade. But it’s also fun to make fun of humorless pedants, especially when they’re New York Times readers (ranks in which, need it be said, I count myself). Anyway, Corbett’s column this week reminded me of a Slate article written in March by Farhad Manjoo, who complained about the “tedious, annoying complaints” of NPR listeners—surely in a class of their own when it comes to humorless griping. Manjoo cataloged a hilarious few: