Most Read: National

Live Discussions

Web Hostess

Web Hostess

Live chat, 2 p.m. ET

Monica Hesse sifts the Internet for meaning, manners and the next great meme.

Weekly schedule, past shows

She the People
On Twitter Follow Us |  On Facebook Fan Us |  RSS RSS Feed
Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 05/30/2012

‘Amercia’: Even Mitt Romney needs an editor

Everyone needs an editor.

And Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is finding out the hard way what all journalists know.

An iPhone app released by the campaign Tuesday misspelled (note that word has two "s's" - and the plural of a single letter gets an apostrophe according to The Associated Press Stylebook) America as Amercia.

There are worse spelling errors; leaving the "l" out of public is always a problem, left unidentified by spellchecking (just ask the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas about that one). But this one could and should have been caught by either spellchecking or with some old-fashioned proofreading.

Instead, it's become an overnight Internet meme.

Of course, Twitter is all over #Amercia and the "A Better Amercia" template from the app.

"Some poor app designer is getting strapped in a cage on the top of a car and driven across country tonight," tweeted Andrew Cove, a New York hacker.  Comedian Andy Borowitz weighed in: "Romney's knack for spelling qualifies him to be President of Twitter."  Some wonder if the "CIA" portion of the spelling isn't some sort of subliminal messaging.

The "With Mitt" app also features templates on "American Greatness," "Believe in America," "The America We Love" and more, with the logo "I'm with Mitt" featured on most templates. But a Google image search indicates a clear favorite - the messed up one. 

Then there are the Tumblrs. There's "Amercia is With Mitt!"  and "Amercia the Beautiful" so far, with plenty of clever photos.

There may still be time to download the app with the error - it takes Apple a while to process revisions. And those with the app don't necessarily have to update the old one once the revision comes out. So expect those "Better Amercia" pics to stick around for a while.

Journalists can certainly sympathize with the Romney campaign and the so-far anonymous typoist (I know, it isn't a word). As copy desks around the country are sliced and diced, mishaps in headlines and copy are happening more often.  Hey, even TV and new media  folks face this problem. 

True confession: I misspelled Yves Saint Laurent's name recently - but my wonderful editor Melinda Henneberger caught my mistake.

Because really, everyone needs an editor.

Sandra Fish teaches journalism at the University of Colorado and has reported on politics in Iowa, Florida and Colorado. Follow her on Twitter at @fishnette

By  |  12:50 PM ET, 05/30/2012

Tags:  Mitt Romney, Amercia, typo, iPhone, app, 2010 presidential campaign, Mention Machine

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company