Come on Irene…don’t you mean Eileen?

Hello all, Katy Lee here. It’s Sunday on the east coast, which means guess who’s visiting? Hurricane Irene is still annoying us…and apparently causing many to sing the song, Come on Irene…instead of Eileen. It started with a New York Magazine blog that made the foible and who has since come clean with their error, but the change in the 1982 platinum hit by Dexys Midnight Runners has stuck.

History has been changed, so to speak…er, sing. And this is a simple change. With the malleable internet out there, so much more of our history has already been changed and will continue to do so. Slip ups like this song are instantly put out on the web for unknowing people to believe. Sites like Wikipedia can give the impression of fact, and many will take what’s dished out and go about their day without debating it.

A few months back I did a post about getting your research right. Visit there to read more about why it is so important, especially for writers.

You see, the internet can be changed…and it can be changed back, or in the case of Irene/Eileen can be corrected. But when you print a book, that can not be done so easily, if at all.

The Unlocked Secret: First of all, stay safe all you East Coasters. Second, be a debater. Be the person who questions what they read on the internet. Require a little more information before taking what’s dished out and going about your day. You don’t want to ever have to write that “Coming-Clean Statement” to your readers.

Question: Have you ever caught a foible? On the internet or a book?

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13 thoughts on “Come on Irene…don’t you mean Eileen?”

  1. Katy, I agree 100%. Question everything you read and everything you hear in the news – mainstream and tabloid (especially). I’ve seen plenty of errors in books- some artistic license and some just flat out wrong. I don’t mind some tampering of facts to make for a better story, but in non-fiction it’s just not acceptable!

  2. There is a huge difference between artistic license and completely wrong information. I agree with Casey, just because you are a fiction author doesn’t mean you can re-write history.

  3. How true, Katy. One of the advantages to indie-publi
    shing is that you can go back and fix your author errors as they come up. It only takes a few minutes on the Amazon and B&N sites. Oh, the beauty of technology!

  4. Right on, Katy. And let’s not forget all those emails people love to pass along about everything from viruses to how a janitor explained NASA’s missing two days. At least snopes has helped to get those under control. 🙂

    1. I’ve learned to check snopes for many things.

      I recently got a fishing email from a friend, only it wasn’t a friend, but someone who hacked her account. It said she was mugged in England and needed money to pay for the hotel. The sad thing is there are people who will send the money.

      1. Think i know her – glad you didn’t fall for it! I’m enjoying catching up on your blogs. Did you win the awards???

  5. And one more thing about the Internet — once something is out there, it’s out there. Even if there are corrections, or retractions, the original error (or lie, depending on the intent of the perp) remains, and there are always going to be plenty of people who believe it, and pass it on. Just like the old “telephone” or “gossip” game, the original message sometimes gets morphed into something completely different to the end recipient. Great lesson for all of us to do our homework!

  6. And don’t even get me started on how fast FB and Twitter get the message out! I just posted on fb a picture from the storm that was a total fake. Even after I wrote this post, I didn’t check it to be sure. It’s so easy to click share it or retweet and forget about it…until someone catches you.

  7. Right on Katy! All this talk about accuracy reminds me of the untrusting, unworthy GPS devices in our cars, on our phone, in our cameras. If you are looking for directions to get somewhere, its best to get them first from the horses mouth (person/place of your destination). Then check it out on the GPS. The GPS is usually circuitous. It might get you there, it might not. Getting your facts (directions) straight is easy, just have reliable resources.

  8. I agree. There are a lot of people who would take what appears to be a familiar word or situation and then turn that into reality. I have found myself looking into a lot of sources for information that I am using. Recently it was about a food item that I was including in something I was writing about: I had been told the item was one thing and found out, repeatedly and from reputable sources, that it was something very different. I have even called agencies to find out more about something. I feel like such a pest but I believe that it is important, for me at least, to check everything more than once and research. BTW, sometimes mistakes are typos or are the author rereading the same things over and over again and seeing what they mean even when it isn’t at all. So a little understanding and friendly reminders go a long way. Thanks for your reminder and your post.
    Deb

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