This post was inspired by a media friend who spotted an error in a mainstream newspaper – an article about students buying “viles of drugs from overseas” – confusing the words vial and vile.
I argue that many people who still read newspapers – dead-tree papers or online versions – know and care about reporters using the correct words.
I understand that smart, young reporters are skilled in so many ways that previous generations of journalists were not.
Yet many young writers do not know the difference between similar words – vial/vile, peer/pier, piece/peace and even weather/whether.
To be fair – I don’t know the age of the person who made the VILE/VIAL error. It could have been an older writer!
I just know that I often need to help younger reporters remember the correct words to use. They were not taught what previous reporters were taught as…
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