Opinion | It pays dividends to check

Opinion | It pays dividends to check

This column was written on the night of the federal budget, so matters pertaining to the economy were to the fore.

Or ‘ecomomy’ as it was published on the front page of a metropolitan newspaper recently

I don’t highlight the mistake to poke fun at someone else’s mistake.

Regular readers of this column, or my sister at least, would be aware a central theme is the importance of self-editing copy, or if possible getting another pair of eyes to check.

The typo appeared in an edition that may not have been sub-edited.

It’s the future of newspapers we are told, especially online.

But it’s not just media consumers who suffer from unedited copy.

A week before that newspaper’s mistake, reports were published of a Centrelink letter to Melbourne’s Ben Klein, a TAFE Advanced Diploma of Music Industry student.

In an effort to advise him of Austudy payments, the unsigned letter contained typographic, grammatical, spelling and factual errors.

It was so poor, on first viewing Mr Klein actually thought it a scam.

At least a dozen mistakes lined up for the honour of document doozy including the agency misspelling its own name “Cedntrelink”, and citing an irrelevant law.

Despite being about Austudy, the letter said the notice was given under “paid parental leave law”.

Music obviously soothes the soul and Mr Klein good-naturedly “marked” the letter, but gave it an F.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said the letter had not been automatically generated by a computer but was in fact from a manual template and the mistakes were the result of human error.

How reassuring.

I wonder if any budget money is going to literacy programs?

Darrell Croker is senior coach at Write For Impact.