Take a brake, hit the rode, test your metal

Our local Iowa City newspaper, the Press-Citizen (whose motto should be “always wrong but never in doubt”) has had a bad couple of weeks recently in the old homonym sweepstakes. In a story about Rep. Dave Loebsack’s job-shadowing visit recently, the paper’s story said that he “road” along with a delivery driver.

A few days later, the P-C’s staff editorial about a passenger train excursion between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City mentioned that 2,000 people “road” the train on its one-time round trip.

Less then a week after that embarrassment, in a story about the Hawkeyes football team playing their season opener in Chicago, the story talked about Iowa fans who “road” the train to Wrigley field for a Cubs game.

And just this week, the P-C published a public-service story about autumn being the time of year when deer-car collisions are at their peak. Their advice? “Break” for the deer, but don’t swerve.

Now, let no one accuse me of pointing out the errors of others without also offering some helpful advice. So, in my own version of the public-service story, I humbly offer to the Press-Citizen’s newsroom staff (reporters, editors, copy editors; it’s impossible to track the stupidity back to its lair) this quiz on homonyms, created by Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn.

Anyone reading this who would like to forward it to the Press-Citizen general manager — purely as a public service, you understand, not to poke fun or ridicule in any way — has my unqualified permission.

P.S. I would share my score on Zorn’s homonym quiz, but I’m entirely too modest. OK, OK, I aced it.