By Jennifer 8. Lee | July 30, 2007
The New York Times ran a correction, which undoubtedly will go down into the canon of great corrections.
An article on Thursday about the arraignment of three men in the shooting of two New York police officers, one of whom died, misstated the schedule set by a judge for a trial in the case. The trial is expected to begin by February, not by â€œFeb. 30.â€ The error occurred when an editor saw the symbol â€œâ€” 30 â€”â€ typed at the bottom of the reporterâ€™s article and combined it with the last word, â€œFebruary.â€ It is actually a notation that journalists have used through the years to denote the end of an article. Although many no longer use it or even know what it means, some journalists continue to debate its origin. A popular theory is that it was a sign-off code developed by telegraph operators. Another tale is that reporters began signing their articles with â€œ30â€ to demand a living wage of $30 per week. Most dictionaries still include the symbol in the definition of thirty, noting that it means â€œconclusionâ€ or â€œend of a news story.â€
Â The best collection of New York Times corrections is in the book. Kill Duck Before Serving: Red Faces at The New York Times: A Collection of the Newspaper’s Most Interesting, Embarrassing and Off-Beat Corrections.
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