Wired correction: Dropbox co-founder did not say ‘nipples’

Wired staff writer Marcus Wohlsen is taking it pretty well.

He’s the author of a detailed, fascinating look at the team behind Dropbox, and their big ambitions for the company. Wohlsen is also the source/cause of what will undoubtedly be a contender for Correction of the Year. Appended to the article is this:

Correction appended [2:37 P.M. PST/9/17]: A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston saying “anyone with nipples” instead of “anyone with a pulse.”


Go ahead and read it again. Yes, two very different meanings. You’d think that kind of misquote would be easy to avoid. But it seems Wohlsen had nipples on the brain:

Like I said, he’s being a good sport about it while the correction rockets around Twitter tonight. Joshua Benton of the Nieman Journalism Lab was one of the early folks to draw attention to it. In fact, he liked the correction so much, he made a diagram to illustrate the nipples-versus-pulse demographics:

We all clear now?

Wohlsen is doing his part to engage, admitting in one thread on Twitter that he “legitimately blew it” with the misquote, and that he’s okay with being a cautionary tale:

Meanwhile, enjoy some reactions:

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  • Rhodes

    I have a slight hearing impairment that is just enough to require aids to avoid the constant stretching to catch the conversation in a busy room and making hilarious errors like this. I totally get how nipples sounded logical. If W.’s co-workers have noticed a constant “what did you say?” it might be time to use the corporate medical plan for an auditory checkup.

  • http://www.CraigSilverman.ca CraigSilverman

    I wonder if anyone with nipples would agree with you?

  • abeaujon

    Maybe it’s my accent, but saying both things out loud, I understand the mistake. “Anyone with A PULSE” could sound like “Anyone with NIPPLES.” It’s funnier as a written correx. (Just one man’s opinion.)

  • http://www.CraigSilverman.ca CraigSilverman

    Yes, I confess to sniggering. But “nipples” and “pulse” don’t really sound the same, so it’s a strange misquote.

    Also, “anyone with nipples” isn’t a common saying. So if a source says that to you — or you think you hear that — wouldn’t you ask them to clarify?

  • Neil B

    Used colloquially, I would say “anyone with a pulse” to mean “everyone”. It’s also not too crazy to take “anyone with nipples” to mean the same. Hardly “two very different meanings”. So basically this story is sniggering because someone mentioned nipples. Wow.