Utah is a special place

November 8, 2012

We might have thought it from time to time — especially when I lived there*.  But I never would say it out loud, let alone have been so bold as to put it into a headline at USA Today.

Talking about Utah election results — it seems only a short while ago Scott Matheson won election as governor, and Orrin Hatch as U.S. Senator, and now Matheson’s kid, Jim Matheson, finishes his 6th term in the U.S. House and got elected to a 7th, and Hatch is the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senator; Jim Matheson scraped out a victory over GOP rock star Mia Love . . . and so on —  and Mr. Jim Butler, the grammar and spelling stickler, called my attention to it.

Look, there on the left hand side, under “Story Highlights,” where it mentions that “Mitt Romney won Utah” — how does it describe the state?  Mostly what?

USA Today headline, "Utah is mostly moron state"

Unfortunate typographical error in USA Today — there should be two of the letter “m” in “Mormon.”  Screen shot courtesy of Kathryn Knowles.

What’s that again?

Moron state close up, USA Today Typo

On the one hand, you wonder, do they have copy editors at USA Today? Then it strikes you: Yes, yes they do.

Did the copy editors intend to say that, that Utah is “a largely moron state?”  It’s been up for more than 36 hours that way.  They didn’t capitalize “moron,” so maybe they didn’t mean “Mormon.”

They can’t say that, can they?

It’s probably an unintentional slip, an unintended and unexpected blurting out of some truth or other.

Will USA Today ever correct it?


As I drove up the canyon towards Evanston, Wyoming, upon my move out of Utah in 1978, I remember thinking that I would never live in another place in America where it was so difficult to get a drink, nor to find a good cup of coffee.  About a decade later, I moved to Texas, and found that our area of the county was completely dry.  Though we now have beer and wine sales in this end of Dallas County, we’ve lost our better beer and wine stores in the recession, and Starbucks moved out, so I have to get the New York Times at 7-11, if you can believe it.  This was brought to mind in an e-mail conversation with my sister, who is back in Salt Lake.  On election day, they voted and went out for coffee at a local hangout.  I asked where they get a good cup of coffee these days.  Annette wrote back:

We have such a deal!  When Annette’s Place is closed or lazy, we walk to an Einstein’s, which is just across a parking lot from Starbuck’s.  Einstein’s coffee is as good as Starbucks and cheaper, and their mudslides, bagels, and other treats are much better than Starbucks.  Or we just walk next door to a newly opened smoke shop, which also sells great coffee drinks.  They open at 7:00 most days and that’s usually early enough. 

Obviously you should move to Salt Lake.  We have fabulous, local coffee shops and beer makers.  Coffee Garden, Raw Bean, Beans & Brews, Squatter’s, Wasatch Brewing Co., Epic, and the great High West Brewery in Park City, making the best Rye, Whiskey and Vodka made in the US.  A Ski-in distillery, no less. 

There are no ski-in distilleries in Texas, I’ll tell you that.

“Massive populations of misquotes” said to kill millions

March 5, 2011

“Over 1 million people a year die because of the massive populations of misquotes.”

I preserve it here just because it gives me a smile; here is the sentence above with what I presume is a typographical error that carries great humor, in its natural habitat:

While there is a a discussion going on whether DDT should be used or not in America, it is undeniable that It should be used in 3rd world countries like in Africa to stop the spread of Malaria. Over 1 million people a year die because of the massive populations of misquotes. No doubt that this number could be lowered dramatically. Not only is DDT a type of pesticide, it is a pest repellent, meaning that even if the bug has grown immunity to the pesticide, it will invariably avoid area’s where DDT is sprayed. To use it to a maximum effect, it would be a good idea to spray it on 1 wall inside a home. That’s all that is required to stop the malaria epidemic in Africa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Delata38 (talkcontribs) 14:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

From Wikipedia’s discussion of the article on DDT.

I have no idea who Delata38 is, and hope she or he is not offended at my preservation of the typo.  The error may have been caused by an over-enthusiastic autocorrect function, and no fault of the author at all.  The statement may be completely correct in a few other contexts, something that should give all journalists pause and cause to strive harder for greater accuracy.

Heck, this should be a candidate for inclusion in the next edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.

In typographical error, truth.

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