Friday's column was about errors that get into print - for example the "not" that disappears from "not guilty." I edited it with special care because Gold's Law teaches that a column about errors will contain errors.
On about the twentieth reading, I discovered that a "not" had disappeared from the "not guilty" section. Another dozen readings picked up two other miscues. Finally I took a "print-out" to a copy editor. "It's about errors," I said. "Be careful."
He sighed. He knew about Gold's Law before he knew Gold.
He went over the piece and found an error. Then he went over it again and found another one. A third reading turned up no further mistakes.
I made the indicated corrections. Then I pushed three keys that locked the column into our computer. Another editor, finding no mistakes, pushed three keys that set the column into "cold type." The process is photographic - and automatic. There is no further keyboarding, no chance for human error.
Only the final step involves humans. The strip of photographed words is cut into three "legs" (segments) and pasted into place on the page layout form. On Friday, leg 1 was first. Then, alas, leg 3 was placed next to it. Leg 2, the middle, was last.
In the next edition, they decided to switch the sequence to 1, 2, 3, and by golly it came out just that way. But in the first few thousand papers off the presses, Gold's Law reigned supreme.