F-bomb appears in Greenville News story

FwordTo begin with, and to be clear, the Chronicle didn’t do this. Repeat, this story did not appear in the Chronicle.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about how the F-word got into a news story in Greenville, S.C.

That’s right, the F-word was typed in as the third paragraph of an Associated Press college football story.

The F-word’s placement doesn’t seem to make sense, given the content of the story to that point, so we are all left wondering why some copy editor typed it in.

A commenter on Jim Romenesko’s blog suggests that the F-word’s appearance is because the Gannett newspaper company, which owns the Greenville News, has consolidated its copy editing to a few key locations. In better economic times, of course, this was handled in-house at every newspaper.

The Romenesko post is also littered with journalists’ and editors’ remembrances of the industry’s great past obscenities, like the legendary sports editor that learned of his impending involuntary departure from the paper and, as a parting gift, sprinkled the sports agate (the tiny type box scores are printed in) with a few foul words that took editors with magnifying glasses to find.

Good times.

Of course, accidents can happen in the newspaper industry. We don’t mean to offend, just inform. We do the best we can and apologize for the mistakes we do let slip through.

However, that doesn’t stop the sinking feeling in your stomach that comes late at night after turning in your story, when the paper is already to press and the website is already scheduled. You wonder to yourself, did I make that mistake I’m constantly worried about making, or did I type public correctly this time?

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