Is it just me, or are errors in the printed word slipping through more than ever? I’m not talking about abbreviations in Twitter or texting, I mean words that sort of sound like they make sense, but are slightly to a long way off the mark. Here are some of the recent transgressions — culled from prominent newspapers, ads and even textbooks — along with my periodic reminder to be careful out there, people:

  • “fabulous wines to suit every palette” (palate)
  • “if you do either of these 3 things” (either is a choice between two things)
  • “your priority list has been widdled down” (whittled)
  • “girls had their pales and shovels” (pails)
  • “really run the gambit” (gamut)
  • “viewed against the black cloth” (backdrop)
  • and my favourite, “the church has space to teach cataclysm” (catechism).

Are there no proofreaders any more? Are they missing in action, or are they so overloaded that they can’t keep up?