You’re Furious Over “Your” and We’re Red-Faced

By Stacey Moncrieff, Editor in Chief, REALTOR® Magazine

When we allow an error into the magazine, we hear from readers, and we had a doozy in the April issue — two actually. Subheads on page 28 that should have read “You’re at highest risk if . . .” and “You’re at less risk if . . .” both incorrectly used “Your” in place of “You’re.” Ouch. Responses from readers ranged from “Dudes, what were you thinking?” to “How could you?”

I’m not in the office right now — and don’t even have the technical clearance to syndicate a change to our article pages online — but I promise the online version will be fixed tomorrow (along with a headline that’s missing an apostrophe to indicate a possessive!) I’ll also look back at our paper record to see what happened. I’m guessing that, after the article was laid out in InDesign (our graphics program), one of us hurriedly and carelessly changed “Your risk is highest if . . .” to a wording that seemed more conversational. I can’t even bring myself to write the offending subheads here.

I know REALTORS® are dealing with issues today that are much weightier than your vs. you’re, but you have a right to expect a magazine that’s professionally edited. For those of you who wrote to us, thank you. We all share your desire to uphold the language, and we apologize for the errors.

Stacey Moncrieff

Stacey is vice president of business-to-business communications for the National Association of REALTORS®, overseeing the association's key communications with NAR members and REALTOR® association executives.

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Comments
  1. You all (in the south, possessive contraction of that is y’all) aren’t the only ones who have done this. I cringe when I see these words used incorrectly. Definitely a pet peave of mine.

    In any event, it is also good to admit the mistake. Don’t look to place blame, just fix the problem and put systems in place to prevent it in the future.

    Good luck with you’re fix. ;O>

  2. Leanne Finlay

    Business is business, and professional attention to details is critically important.

    I am still steaming, red-hot angry over a Washington Association of Realtors magazine that was published in 2008 full of typos, errors and the incorrect use of the word Realtor in a full page advertisement. The Realtors’ own magazine … couldn’t get this basic correct?

    Not only do we “have a right to expect a magazine that’s professionally edited”, but I personally have high expectations because real estate agents are leaders in our society, and I expect NAR to represent my own personal values.

    One of the roles we share with leadership is to set the highest of standards. Details matter. Editing and proofreading are part of the basics, and matter immensely.

    Thank you, Stacey for this blog article.

    Leanne Finlay, Seattle

  3. Leanne Finlay

    John, I’m sure you meant this as humor, “Good luck with you’re fix. ;O>” … but the truth is, too many people have no idea what the proper use of your or you’re really is, and now you’ve really confused them further! 🙂

    Sheesh.

    My other pet peeve for words agents love to abuse is HUGH instead of HUGE.
    How many times have you read an agents comments on a flyer that costs upwards of 50 cents or several dollars read: HUGH kitchen, or HUGH yard, or HUGH whatever.

    HUGH. Time for poor HUGH to take back his name, and teach agents that HUGE is large and HUGH is a name of a person.

  4. Stacey – What a wonderful demonstration of the open manner in which NAR staff deals with errors. We all make them but not all of us are willing to be held accountable and to correct them.
    A great post about that is right here:
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

  5. Bill, thanks for the note and the entertaining link! I actually saw “lose” and “loose” mixed up in a New York Times article about the Butler-Duke game. While it didn’t make me feel any better about our embarrassing errors, it did remind me that, even in the big leagues, speed = errors. John, I loved your comment about getting the process right and not fixing blame.

    From the responses to this post — and the letters to narpubs@realtors.org — I know there are many, many REALTORS out there who care about the English language. As someone who agonizes over every word I write, I really appreciate knowing that!

  6. This was just one of those huge “OOPS” moments in life! Stacy, I knew you would be mortified when it was called to your attention. As a former high school English teacher, I can never put down the red pen when I read 🙂
    Keep up the good work with the magazine!

    Mary McCall, Tampa
    RE/MAX ACR Elite

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