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.