Every morning on my commute to work, I read Toronto’s edition of the Metro newspaper. Spoiler alert: I am in Toronto. And sometimes they confuse me…

Ok, nobody’s perfect and a mistake here or there is no big deal. But it also depends on the kind of mistake. I am not talking about grammar here. I am talking about those situations that could be solved with somebody reading the text twice. And they don’t always do at Metro Toronto. Here are two examples from last week.

The Queen 501 streetcar will be closed all summer and Metro shows the alternatives to the popular line. However, Metro guys can’t tell a bike, a bus and a helicopter apart. You’d think it’s easy; probably because it is. In the image below you can see that the text about buses (top right) is connected to the bicycle (green line), the joke about taking a helicopter (bottom right) is linked to the bus (yellow line) and a series of dots associate the bikes alternative with a helicopter (bottom centre).

Not the Oscar's mix-up, but still [source: Metro Toronto, 2nd Feb 2017]
Not the Oscar’s mix-up, but still [source: Metro Toronto, 2nd March 2017]
It could be worse, right? They could follow the current trend and offer alternative facts. Take this article about a dog that was attacked by a coyote [left image below]. The left column states that the dog ‘needed close to 60 staples to close his wounds’. Two centimetres from that, the caption of the image reads ‘More than 70 staples were needed’. Even if we accept that sixty-a-few is close to 60, despite knowing that ‘close to’ often equals ‘almost’, how close to 60 is more than 70?

Fortunately, articles don’t always disagree with themselves. Sometimes Metro journalists are so sure about what they write that they write it twice. See the following image on the right, where two paragrafs are repeated for absolutely no reason.

Do they even try? [source: Metro Toronto, (left) 3rd March 2017 and (right) 5th March 2017]
Be it as it may, a very kind Asian guy hands the paper to me for free at the underground station and it keeps me entertained and somewhat informed. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. On the other hand, if you’re going to give a present, you might as well make it nice.

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