I know the paper’s executives and editors aren’t always convinced this is the case, but I’m a big fan of The New York Times. They do more things, and more things well, than any other print news organization in the country (and quite possibly the world).
One thing they do not do well is spell Kurt Andersen’s name. (This is something I was obsessed with for a while a few years back.) The latest example comes at the bottom of Cathy Horyn’s blog entry on Friday, where there’s a reference to “Kurt Anderson’s excellent piece in Vanity Fair about why there has been a lack of innovation for the last 20 years in the arts and style.”
I know what it’s like to write on deadline, and I know how easy it is to assume something is correct without checking it. In the grand scheme of things, this latest instance isn’t particularly egregious; it’s nothing like, for instance, the time in June 2007 when the paper spelled his name correctly (Andersen) and incorrectly (Anderson) in the same paragraph. And, to be fair, maybe this sticks in my craw more than usual because I’m in the middle of a fact-checking lesson with my students in the MIT Science Writing Program. But surely Horyn, who is one of those rare writers who compels me to read about a subject I’d otherwise have little-to-no interest in, has seen her name get butchered a fair number of times over the years.