Does Metro Even Have an Editor?

When I got my first job out of college, it was as if I had joined a new club: the Boston commuter club. I had a group of friends from my training class, and we would chat about rush hour, about the T, about the regulars in South Station, and about what had been written in Metro that morning.

Metro is available at every MBTA station in the mornings. The thing about it is that it’s such a crappy paper that nobody would be reading it if it weren’t free and there weren’t people handing it to you each morning. It’s a Boston edition, and it focuses about half and half on regional news and a combination of national and international news.

Since the paper gains profit purely from ad revenue, it’s not exactly like they’re rolling in it. (Nor is any other paper.) But still, you think that they could afford to hire a decent copyeditor! There are SO many errors in any given issue of Metro! It’s like a game, trying to find them.

Here is today’s gem:

TMZ claims that Spears is receiving payments from an agency for photo-ops and site her frequent wardrobe changes throughout the day as evidence.

Read it again.

This is a tough one, and I shouldn’t be too hard on the editors, since it’s often extremely difficult to spot a wayward homophone.

Sight, site and cite are three different words with three different meanings. Quite obviously, “sight” refers to something that has been seen. “Site” refers to a location, while “cite” is simply a verb that describes a form of verbal communication, usually in a mechanical way.

An example that will create a lovely image in your head:

We arrived at the site where the film crew had set up their equipment, beach towels and all, when I nearly vomited at the sight of an elderly woman lounging in a thong bikini; we thought she’d leave immediately, but she simply cited her right to linger on a public beach during daylight hours.

There you go, Metro. TMZ did not “site” anything. They simply cited evidence.

Again, I know that it’s tough to notice a homophone sticking out of place like that, but Metro is in such need of a decent editor that I really don’t care whatsoever.

You’d think that a newspaper aimed at those who work in a city known for being a leader in higher education, healthcare and technology would be clear of errors.


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