A billion here, a billion there, and soon there’s a real bubble

I’m not even going to comment on the ‘bubble’ part, I’m merely amused the rather rookie typo (billion for million) in the screen grab above (full shot here) could go unnoticed for so long on the International Herald Tribune’s photo caption accompanying a story on wild valuations of startups. If, as the typo in the caption suggests, the startup’s valuation plummeted from $200 “B”illion to $850 “M”illion, that would be a story dis-proving the premise of the article. However, it does support my on-going premise that reporters and editors have trouble with the whole numbers thing.

(As I often note, this “personal” blog is a glass house when I throw rocks like this. Fortunately, the “professional” media associated with my name has a proofing process managed by professional editors and champion spellers who must feel when reading my extemporaneous posts [and the resulting extemporaneous syntax, grammar and spelling) a bit like George Bush’s speech-writers must feel when he starts ad-libbing.])

  • The speechwriting thing is much worse though. I’ve experienced both kinds of pain – but the latter is just so PUBLIC. And they still all think you wrote the ad-lib part! 😉 Over the years, grammar and syntax errors have come and go but I will always remember the first time I heard someone completely butcher a speech I wrote. It’s humbling…because in the end, it’s still your fault. I learned quickly that day that the first rule of speechwriting should be to match the speech to the person giving it and not the subject matter.