Thursday, April 1, 2010

Does The Styles Section Even Have A Copy Editor? Skin Deep Column Refers To "Underground Contingency Of Individuals..."

Over in the NYT's "Skin Deep" column today in the Styles section, a few pages away from today's Memorable Gaffe -- where Alex Williams misspelled the word "mispelled" in the gossip bloggers cover story -- another easily avoidable mistake also made it into the paper.

In freelance writer Dana Schuster's piece, "Hairstylists Who Make House Calls," this mysterious and incomprehensible phrase appears:

It’s not uncommon for hairdressers to make house calls for events like weddings or bar mitzvahs. But a seemingly underground contingency of individuals book their regular beauty appointments directly through their hairstylists, eyebrow groomers, bikini waxers and facialists, often unbeknownst to the technician’s or stylist’s employing salon.

We're not positive, but we're pretty confident that there is no such thing as an "underground contingency."

Maybe it's an "underground conspiracy."

Or an "underground community."

It's also possible she meant "underarm consistency."

We look forward to the NYT's next correction! The last one was so funny.

We also look forward to NYT editors actually reading the Styles section stories before they go in the paper.


Anonymous said...

No doubt "underground contingent".

See def 5

But perhaps I'm missing a level of sarcasm here.

Anonymous said...

Underwear consignment.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a new editor in charge of Styles? It's getting worse, quickly.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was "consignment" since any copy editor working at Styles these days apparently is on consignment...

Anonymous said...

"under the table" as in individuals earning undeclared income.

Anonymous said...

re: undeclared earnings
Underground is a more approving designation, after all, if the treasury secretary did it, why malign why baby sitters and hair stylists?

Anonymous said...

Very unkind NYTPicker, I usually love you, but clearly they meant "contingent" as in "a group," which is an acceptable meaning of the word, but used the malapropism contingency. An easy error, not nearly as glaring as you suggest. Perhaps it is you, who need a dictionary?