Special elections and typographical errors: NOO!

May 14, 2009

“NOO!” is the answer I gleaned from the county taxpayers association’s endorsement of Proposition 1F.

The association opposed all six ballot measures appearing on next week’s statewide special election, but this one seemed really opposed.

It’s the sort of way “No!” is exclaimed when a computer crashes and someone forgot to click “save”; basically, “no” with a dozen o’s trailing off into nothingness.

Or, at least that’s how it appeared. The group’s published endorsements of props. 1A-1E read “Recommend vote no.” 1F, “Recommend vote noo.” A simple typo, but one that could imply extra gravitas to the intended meaning, or another meaning altogether.

I’ve been on a bit of a bender lately for seeking out typos in print. It’s important, at least for a weekly paper, because we have a longer shelf life than a daily, where amending an error after 24 hours is not financially feasible without re-printing thousands of copies. And we know that’s impossible and impractical, so misspells, erroneous reportage and grammatical gaffes loom overhead for seven long days until the next edition hits the streets.

Which brings me back to the special election. Having just completed our own endorsements and editorial coverage of the election these past two weeks, we noticed that a lot of special interest groups have tended to oppose or support the six measures across the board. That, or some people are uninformed altogether. There were very few people I found who discriminated proposition to proposition based on their individual value systems and beliefs.

Is the special election a hurried affair? Is the California public as informed as they should be on matters which hinges our fiscal future?

Whatever the case may be, even if your vote is a resounding “NOO!!!!”, typos or not, make sure you stay informed and make your vote count.

(And let me know if you find typos in this blog.)

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