For richer, for poorer

Whenever a reporter (or columnist, as is the case here) decides to quote from a famous work to illustrate a point, it’s always a good idea to check that quote. That apparently didn’t happen here, and the paper has published this correction.

We can’t be expected to know the texts of the great works of literature. You don’t have to be a fan of “The Great Gatsby” to catch this error, however. The clue that something is amiss is in the column: the odd response from Hemingway. If Fitzgerald wrote what is printed here, the reaction from Hemingway doesn’t make sense. That mismatch could have set off an alarm in the mind of the editor who read this.

Here are some other things to check when they are quoted in stories:

  • Shakespeare
  • Songs
  • Movies
  • The Bible

With online resources at our fingertips, editors can track down these references most of the time. If not, we can ask the writer to doublecheck.