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Is The AP Using ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’?

From a short-cut taking Associated Press:

(Click to enlarge.)

New jobless claims drop unexpectedly to 545K

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON – The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since early July, evidence that job cuts are slowing.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to a seasonally adjusted 545,000 from an upwardly revised 557,000 the previous week. Wall Street economists expected claims to rise by 5,000, according to Thomson Reuters.

The decline was the third in the past four weeks. The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, dropped 8,750 to 563,000. Despite the improvement, that’s far above the 325,000 per week that is typical in a healthy economy…

"Gains from here on will probably be much more difficult to achieve," due to high unemployment, tight credit and a large number of new and existing homes already on the market, he said.

The number of people claiming jobless benefits for more than a week rose by 129,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 million. The continuing claims data lags initial claims by one week.

When federal extended benefits are included, 9.01 million people received unemployment insurance in the week ending Aug. 29. That’s down from 9.16 million the previous week…

It’s the same old story.

In fact, the AP has gotten so lazy just plugging in these claims about “unexpectedly,” they don’t seem to have noticed that they incorporated a typo in their keyboard macro. (‘Macros’ are keyboard shortcuts that automate frequently-used or repetitive sequences.)

For instance, in the article above we have:

The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations…

The correct spelling of the verb is smoothEs.

And yet if you do a Google search, you will notice that the AP has been just robotically putting in this misspelled phrase for many months now.

Indeed, it appears in almost every article by the Associated Press business reporters Christopher S. Rugaber, Jeannine Aversa, Patrick Rizzo and Martin Crutsinger about jobless claims. A Google search turns up 12,800 English pages featuring "smooths out fluctuations." (Not to mention the countless times they have used the expression “unexpectedly.”)

Hundreds of stories, and nobody has noticed the typo.

It make you wonder what else do the AP reporters just plug into their stories?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Is The AP Using ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’?”

  1. proreason says:

    Good catch Steve.

    Word spell-check catches the error, which certainly suggests that any text scanner used by “journalists” would flag the word at least as an aberrant form.

    My hunch is that most people would think that “smooths” is the correct spelling, but with thousands of stories, it’s mind-boggling that a simple spelling error got by thousands of our highly educated “journalists”.

    It makes you wonder how smart they are.

    But even moreso, it illustrates what lock-step lemmings they are.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      My guess is that they must think a ‘smoothE’ is a frozen slushie you drink with a straw and get “brane” freeze.
      (get it?)

  2. GL0120 says:

    Let’s not be too quick to judge the intelligence level at the AP; they’re just cutting and pasting what the White (?) House sends them.

  3. David says:

    My guess is you’ll find a similar one for:
    “The recession, which began in December 2007…” Although I can’t say this conclusively, I think every AP article that mentions the recession contains this line in plagiarist-like similarity.

  4. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I have to admite, Steve, this story caught me by surprse. Uexpectedly, even.

  5. Colonel1961 says:

    Makes me miss Dan Quayle…

  6. canary says:

    oh, that explains it. I thought they were such in a hurry to re-edit articles to make Obama happy was the cause. heh heh.

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