Charlotte Observer typo attributes painful, vulgar injury to NBA player

An unfortunate typo introduced late in the editing process led to the Charlotte Observer reporting that NBA player Baron Davis has a “herniated dick.” Yes, chuckle away.

Here’s the offending passage from today’s paper:

Mike Persinger, the paper’s executive sports editor, explained the origin of the error in a blog post today. He said the writer first described the injury as a “herniated disc.” That made it past the first editor, but a second editor realized that isn’t the way the paper spells this injury. So the editor attempted to change it to “herniated disk.” Needless to say, things didn’t work out that way.

There was no third editor in the process to catch the typo. From Persinger’s blog post:

Because part of that second editor’s job is to send stories to the typesetter, the typo was moved along without another set of eyes to catch the error, and that led to what you saw in today’s paper. And no doubt to a lot of snickering.

The Observer took home Correction of the Year in 2011, and now it’s an early front runner for 2012′s typo of the year.

Seriously, though, my sympathies to that second editor.

Update: Thanks to @johnrobinson for the tip! (I didn’t have the credit in at first because I wanted his permission.) I also see Persinger tweeted his post about the error. Nice job of being open about the mistake and trying to make sure readers understand the background.

Update Jan. 5: I see  (via a tweet from Romenesko) that the Observer published a correction today:

Because of a typographical error, an item in the Sports section Wednesday incorrectly described an injury to NBA player Baron Davis, a guard for the NewYork Knicks. Davis has been troubled by a herniated disk in his back.

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  • CraigSilverman

    A good point, Lee. 

  • Lee Louviere

    One would think an easy solution is to have the first editor review any changes the second editor makes.