My New York Times Correction

On April 29, 2007 the New York Times ran a story about Canadian actor/director Sarah Polley in which they wrote that TV series Avonlea in which Polley starred as a child was set in the Canadian prairies.

As Avonlea was, in fact, set here in Prince Edward Island (even it it was filmed largely in Ontario …), I sent in a request for a correction on May 2:

The television series “Avonlea” is based on the works of Canadian author L.M. Montgomery, and the television series was set, like most of Montgomery’s work, in the eastern coastal province of Prince Edward Island, not on the prairie.

To their credit, and my satisfaction, they published the correction, and have attached it permanently to the article’s archive:

Correction: May 6, 2007, Sunday An article last Sunday about the film actress and director Sarah Polley referred incorrectly to the setting of ”Avonlea,” the Canadian television series in which she starred. It was set on Prince Edward Island, not the prairie.

The daily Corrections Page of the Times, by the way, always makes for an interesting read. Here’s my favourite from today:

An obituary on Friday of Kiichi Miyazawa, former prime minister of Japan, rendered incorrectly the name of the American general whose lectures during the occupation of Japan were recalled by Mr. Miyazawa with distaste. He was Gen. Douglas MacArthur; he had no middle name and did not use the initial A (or other initials often ascribed to him, including B, C and S). Five articles in 2005 included the “A” (on May 29, June 20, June 28, July 29 and Aug. 26), and it has been used in 19 other articles since 1987.


Alan's picture
Alan on July 4, 2007 - 21:06 Permalink

I had not realized that the US had one “prairie” while we have multiple “prairies.” Maybe this is to offset that our plural of “beer” is “beer” while their is “beers.” Maybe.

oliver's picture
oliver on July 5, 2007 - 02:12 Permalink

Good going, P. Did the Times let you know whether yours was the first or only letter alerting them to the error?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 5, 2007 - 13:46 Permalink

Sure Oliver, burst my bubble ;-)

andrea's picture
andrea on July 5, 2007 - 17:29 Permalink

Interestingly enough, was it not the Gen. Douglas MacArthur of the second correction who was responsible for the novel “Anne of Green Gables” being introduced into the Japanese curriculum? Thus creating the International popularity of Anne and her ilk which, I would think, brought about the possibility for the TV show “Avonlea”.