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City Lights: Let's trade gaffes for perspective

October 30, 2012|By Michael Miller

Come back, Mitt Romney. All is forgiven.

That comment you made about the binders full of women? Yes, it sounded a little off-kilter at the time, and the nation's comedians have teed off on it. But in the annals of off-the-cuff remarks politicians have made about the opposite sex, it's hardly the worst.

President Obama? Yes, you got some scathing reviews for your performance in the first debate, but we all have our listless days.

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Justin Verlander? The Giants shelled you pretty badly in Game 1 of the World Series, but that happens in the course of a long career.

You can all breathe a sigh of relief now. The most embarrassing gaffe of the 2012 fall season has arrived, and it came courtesy of one of my own brethren in the journalism industry.

Like many baseball fans, I plugged the word "Tigers" into Google on Saturday morning to find out what time that afternoon's World Series game would start. And like many, I rubbed my eyes in disbelief seconds later when the search pulled up a headline that read...

Well, it was supposed to read "Giants try to go up 3-0 on Tigers, as World Series shifts to Detroit." But evidently, some copy editor (or Tigers-hater) at the Sports Network let a finger slip on the keyboard and left the "f" out of the word "shifts." And in this age of news websites that feed automatically off each other, that meant the typo appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Fox News and other reputable outlets.

Now, any professional journalist can tell you that we're all an errant finger away from a faux pas of that magnitude. As a reporter in Connecticut, I once misread my own handwriting from an interview with a politician and quoted him as referring to "my people" instead of "many people." I got a bemused call from him the next day asking if I was trying to make him sound like Moses.

Still, I'm not close enough to sainthood that I can resist chortling at an error as funny as that Tigers headline. I hope the Sports Network sees the humor in it, too, and that the poor soul who let that four-letter word slip won't be out of a job. We all deserve a second chance.

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