That doesn’t ring a bell

This post at Swampland, a Time magazine blog, starts this way:

If the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s 100 Club dinner is any bell weather – Barack Obama will handily win here.

Never mind the awkward use of a dash where a comma would do just fine. The real issue here is “bell weather.” What the writer meant was “bellwether.” Its definitions include:

  • A male sheep that leads the flock, usually bearing a bell.
  • A person or thing that assumes the leadership or forefront, as of a profession or industry.

The post went up on the Time site at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, and a few comments mention the mistake, which at this writing is still there. Says one:

It’s BELLWETHER, not “bell weather.” Who is your copy editor?

It’s a reasonable question. Will Time answer it?

UPDATE: As of the day after the New Hampshire primary, this error is still there.

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