How Soon They Forget

Over the years, I have followed the New York Times Corrections section, on and off, as a window into the ignorance of our journalist class. The howlers the Times has printed have often caused me to wonder whether that paper actually employs editors.

The current selection illustrates how quickly formerly well-known people and events are receding into history. From today’s Times:

An item on Tuesday about the capture of Benito Mussolini misspelled the given name of the Nazi dictator of Germany. It is Adolf Hitler, not Adolph.

People used to know that. Not just journalists, but everyone. Then there is this: World War I, World War II, who can tell the difference? They were both so long ago:

An article on Page 9 this weekend about Marianne Faithfull misstates the occupation of her husband, John Dunbar. He is an artist, not a writer. It also mistakenly referenced the armistice in relation to Ms. Faithfull’s year of birth. She was born a year after the end of World War II, not World War I.

Miss Faithfull in 1964, clearly not left over from WWI:

STEVE adds: It’s even worse than you think, John. Stan Evans recalled seeing a local news broadcast where the anchor, reading from the Teleprompter, remarked on the “anniversary of the end of World War Eleven.

“You’d think will all these Super Bowls people would at least know their Roman numerals,” Stan commented, “but apparently not.”

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