A CBS New York article on illiterate high-school graduates caught our attention today, and for all the wrong reasons. Despite bemoaning the fact that 80 percent of recent New York City graduates lack basic reading skills(!), the article itself is loaded with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes:

“I was nervus about how hard it was going to be, how much of a chnage it was going to be from high school,” Gonzalez said. “I knew I needed to take remedial, If I started right away with credit classes it wasnt going to be so well, so it’s better off starting somewhere.

“They get lost sometimes in the classrom and in CUNY Start we give them a lot more one-on-one attention, small grouip work. It helps theem achieve more in a short amount of time and so they’re able to get on with their credit classes,” Mason said.

Here’s the best part: we have no clue who “Mason” is. That name appears nowhere else in the piece.

Nicholas Gonzalez, a graduate of New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, participated in the CUNY Start program. He said he would never had been able to face college credit classes without it.

That’s not all. The original version of the article contained a subhead that misspelled the word “immersion”:


It takes a lot of restraint for us not to print the article out, circle the errors with a red pen, and send it to the station with a big “F” on it.

Nobody’s perfect, but a major news organization should be able to do better. At the very least, CBS New York’s copy editor should be flogged with cords of shredded newsprint. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go scream into a pillow out of linguistic frustration.


Several readers noted the typo “theem” in the quote from “Mason.” We don’t have a screen shot or cached copy of the original CBS article, so we can’t confirm that it was CBS’ error. We suspect it was.