Hold the homophone

Today started with considerable embarrassment on our desk. Readers pointed out that in the Life, etc., display story today we fell victim to a homophone mistake. I was the copy editor on the story, and frankly, I was near mortification. The homophones were “dying” and “dyeing.” Because the story was all about textile colors and finishing, the word we needed was “dyeing.” Five times we needed “dyeing.” Oy! That’s not something a spelling checker would flag. Oh, no, human beings with their minds focused are the only way to spot such problems.

Thanks to a helpful online producer, the online version has been corrected. Now I need to figure out how to keep from overlooking the same mistake in the future. It’s not as if I need to learn something new. It’s a matter of reinforcing something I already know. For me, the best teacher is seeing my mistake in cold, hard print.

P.S. I did like my headline, though.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.