Very few things in news, these days, give me the pleasure of choking on my morning coffee. We seem to have become completely immune to many atrocities that may have forced us to perhaps commit suicide out of sheer annoyance, 20 years back.

But, this morning coffee choke was unique. It was a language/grammar choke.

The Sunday Times of India today has a front page piece on how the files pertaining to the India-Pakistan 1971 war have been destroyed. Nice story, great angle and good read. Except for one sentence, that led to the above-mentioned choke.

Presenting…

More importantly, the motives behind the destruction would have to be probed to establish the motive behind this wanton destruction.

Wow!

STOI_Bangalore-PrintAs a compulsive tweeter, what do you do immediately? Of course, go online, to the epaper and see if you share this gaffe.

That’s where a pleasant surprise was waiting for me!

The Times of India epaper for Bangalore has this. Notice how the entire sentence is missing, online!

In the Chennai epaper edition, the sentence remains, with a minor tweak, “More importantly, the motives behind the destruction would have to be probed to establish the motivation behind this wanton destruction.”

Only the Mumbai epaper edition seems to have a sentence that makes sense, “More importantly, the motives behind the destruction would have to be probed.”

The print editions of cities other than Bangalore may perhaps have the same choke-worthy sentence for all you know, while only the epaper editions have carried the corrections.

STOI_Bangalore-From-EpaperSo, a few questions, as usual!

  • I understand that each edition of a national newspaper will have it’s own priorities in terms of space availabilities, but was this story out together in such a hurry that such obvious gaffes were overlooked?
  • Is the online edition more important that someone has laboriously noticed the error and made the change? Or is it just a matter of more time available to make this change?
  • Shouldn’t the epaper be a true representative of what we get on the print version? I do understand that it is their paper and their epaper and they can do anything they want…but this is not the first time I notice this discrepancy between the online and print editions. In an earlier post in March, again on a Sunday Times of India, a half page ad that was featured in the print edition, was missing in the epaper edition. Do advertisers pay only for the print edition? Of course, but what are the terms for the epaper? Yes, it is free, but is Times of India planning to create a distinct epaper which could have its own content-related differences from a print edition?

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