Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sad day for spelling -- "Mohammed Ali" in The New Yorker

In Ken Auletta's story about the Obama Administraton and the media in this week's New Yorker, Auletta quotes from Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson's book The Battle for America 2008: "At the risk of triggering the very reaction that concerns me, I don't know if you are Mohammed Ali or Floyd Patterson when it comes to taking a punch. You care far too much what is written and said about you."

Since the name of arguably the greatest athlete of the 20th century is spelled "Muhammad Ali, " The New Yorker should have put a [sic.] in there. This is especially strange since the editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, is the author of the fabulous book King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero. (Although, to be fair, the name in the title is misspelled in several places on the Amazon listing.)

Tomorrow: an anecdote from the 1970s about English director Jon Amiel, whose movie Creation is reviewed in this week's New Yorker.