For about 16 years, from 1970 to 1986, a gentleman named Rudolph Handel appeared regularly at the corner of Calvert and Centre streets in front of the Sun building displaying a sign: “SUN LIES,” it read on one side, “SUN ERRS” on the other.
Mr. Handel complained that the paper had written inaccurately about him in an article, and he was unsatisfied with the paper’s follow-up. “SUN LIES; SUN ERRS” became a catchphrase in the newsroom for many years.
The other day James Bready, a retired Sun editor who drops by now and then, usually with a sheaf of tear sheets marked with errors, quizzed me on what the most frequent errors in the paper are.
He had one in hand, a reference to the “central branch” of the Pratt Library. The Pratt’s central library on cathedral street is not a branch, but the main library from which the subordinate branches radiate. All the same, “central branch” keeps slipping into print despite years of admonitions.
I’ve been moved to think about our most incorrigible lapses.
You might be surprised, though my own reaction is more of chagrin, to discover how frequently we have referred to a local university and medical school as “John Hopkins.”
If you gamble, you will not be startled to learn that the lottery numbers are frequently incorrect, despite the presence of a thoroughgoing, laminated sheet of instructions posted by the city desk.
If you live on the Eastern Shore, you probably sneer at The Sun for, among other things, a amentable tendency to locate Shore towns in the wrong counties.
Perhaps — broad hint pending — you could identify some favorites yourself. It’s hot outside. Do you have anything better to do?