I almost need a category of  “proofreader” or “editor”.

From this story about a job fair where most of the positions were reserved for last year’s returning workers:

But all but 120 of those jobs will go to workers returning from last year.

State it in the positive.  Only 120 jobs will go to workers new this year.  But all but?  Try reading it out loud, dear reporter.  It grates.

And then this from the sad story about the Air France jet going down off Brazil:

It is a very robust airplane. It has been flying for many years, clocking hundreds of millions of hours

Oh, really?  Let’s check those numbers.  The Airbus A330-200 was introduced in 1998, with 346 planes produced so far.  Let’s be generous and say all 346 planes were produced on January 1, 1998, and that we’re at the end of 2009.  Let’s be more generous and say that the planes are flying 24/7 without the need for silly things like passengers, fuel, or maintenance.  And let’s top off the generous bucket by saying that he only needs to hit a hundred million hours instead of “hundreds”.  12 years * 366 days (generosity) * 24 hours * 346 planes gives 36,471,168 plane-hours.  He’s off by two-thirds, even given the five generosities.  I’d say that based on non-generous reality, he’s off by a factor of at least a thousand.

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