Rock stories (no relation to rock music)

Years back, I was editing a draft. One phrase struck me. It read, “A rocked cabinet”. I wracked (pun unintended) my brains wondering if such a creature existed. I thought deep and long and tried to imagine what the author meant. Then a Eureka moment came. Author was Japanese. Get it? {a locked cabinet]


So when I saw this post of the Professional Heckler I experienced mixed emotions. Do you see the error?

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 11.51.47

I have ambivalent feelings about it. For one, as the perennial excuse goes, “Tao lang.”

For another, the word which was turned into a phrase is a rather uncommon, even a difficult word: “Usufruct”. It is a term specific to an industry – real estate, or industries if development is considered such,  so it may be unfamiliar to many. The first time I encountered this word, in fact, was when I edited a draft related to urban housing a few years ago.

Still and all, a valid argument against such an error might be this: reporters are generally assigned to a specific beat, ergo they should try to familiarize themselves with the lingo of that beat. In a word, READ up. In the process of doing so, they’ll likely learn to spell.

On the other hand, the one who wrote the caption may be a generalist (not the reporter assigned) who  simply spelled it as heard. Besides, rock is used in construction, right?

Sorry if I am pushing it.

What do you think?

PS – Do they have editors who monitor what’s posted as runners or captions on TV? prior to their being posted, especially? And individuals who monitor errors?

For good measure here’s usufruct defined:

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 12.03.12


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