Slate's mistakes for the week of Dec. 17, 2012.

Slate's Mistakes for the Week of Dec. 17, 2012

Slate's Mistakes for the Week of Dec. 17, 2012

Slate's mistakes.
Dec. 21 2012 4:30 AM


Slate's mistakes.

Red pen

Photograph by Gabriela Insuratelu.

In a Dec. 20 “Crime” blog post, Justin Peters referred to the AR-15 semi-automatic as an "assault rifle." Though the AR-15 could be correctly referred to as an "assault weapon" or an "assault-style rifle," an "assault rifle" specifically refers to a rifle with fully automatic firing capability.

In a Dec. 19 “Brow Beat,” Aisha Harris misspelled the name of the character of Marullus from the play Julius Caesar.

In the Dec. 19 “The Kids,” Melinda Wenner Moyer stated that about 70 percent of the population are “super-tasters.” It’s “super-tasters” and “tasters” combined that make up 70 percent of the population.  


In the Dec. 19 “Map of the Week,” Chris Kirk reported that nine people were killed in a 2006 school shooting at Duquesne University; no one was killed. Kirk also misstated the total number of fatalities from school shootings since 1980; 297 have been killed, not 311. And Kirk misstated the number of fatal school-shooting incidents; there have been 137, not 196.

In a Dec. 19 “Movies,” Dana Stevens wrote that film director Michael Haneke is French. He is Austrian.

In a Dec. 18 “Explainer,” Forrest Wickman wrote that a school shooting at Pearl High School in Mississippi happened in 2006. It happened in 1997.

In a Dec. 18 “Politics,” John Dickerson stated that before Newt Gingrich, Nicholas Longworth was the only speaker of the House to serve consecutive terms in the intervening 66 years. He was the only Republican speaker to serve consecutive terms during that period.


In a Dec. 18 “Television,” John Swansburg misidentified the season in which one of his favorite scenes from the series Happy Endings occurred. It was from the second season, not the first.

In a Dec. 17 “DoubleX,” Porochista Khakpour stated that women report gun ownership at a rate that’s 9 percent lower than the rate for men. The difference is nine percentage points.

In a Dec. 17 “Explainer,” Mark Joseph Stern wrote that grips and mounts can modify the power of a semi-automatic gun (they modify the ease of use); that machine guns are mounted to a wall or rail (they often are, but not always); that a pistol is a firearm with a single, nonrevolving chamber (some pistols are, but not all); that no revolvers are semi-automatic (none are fully automatic); and that James Holmes bought his weapons on the Internet (he bought his ammunition on the Internet). Stern also defined a rifle as a firearm with grooves on its barrel walls. Many other modern firearms, including handguns, have rifled barrels; more precisely, a rifle is a long-barreled gun with such grooves.

In a Dec. 17 "Future Tense" blog post, Fruzsina Eördögh misidentified Sara Morrison's title at the Columbia Journalism Review. She is an assistant editor.


Due to an editing error, a Dec. 17 "Future Tense" listed the incorrect time for an online discussion on the website Muck Rack about social media and PTSD. It was at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific on Dec. 18, not 5 p.m. Eastern.

In a Dec. 17 "Slatest" post on the history of black senators, Josh Voorhees misstated how much time had passed between the elections of Sen. Blanche Bruce and Sen. Edward Brooke. He also misstated the years of Bruce's single Senate term.

In a Dec. 17 “Weigel” post, David Weigel incorrectly claimed that part of a quote attributed to Chuck Hagel in an anonymous memo appearing in the Weekly Standard was "phony." The quote was accurate. (Read a fuller explanation by Weigel here.)

In a Dec. 17 “XX Factor” post, Hanna Rosin misspelled blogger Liza Long’s last name.

In a Dec. 13 “Moneybox” post, Matthew Yglesias wrote that budget deficits in the 2000s would have been higher had the Bush tax cuts been somewhat smaller. The deficits would have been lower in that case.

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