Friday, October 03, 2003

Salon has a great, couldn't-ask-for-more article on common editing mistakes in airline copy. Read it. Twice. Take notes as if you were in college. Print out a copy for your co-workers. (Salon will make nonsubscribers jump through hoops to read this. Actually, you just have to watch an ad. Look for "Ask the pilot.")

Here's a preview:
* There is no Delta Airlines based in Atlanta, Ga. There is only Delta Air Lines. The legendary Eastern also shared this old-timey three-word style.

* All right, but even I get confused by the Koreans. In the old days one flew to Seoul on KAL, as everyone called it. But did that stand for Korean Air Lines, or was it Korean Airlines? I've got photos of aircraft on which both are painted. No matter, in 2003 it's a short and simple Korean Air. That is, until you read the fine print and realize the corporate parent is something called Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. So KAL remains KAL, doing business without the "L". Got it?

* China Airlines is the national carrier of Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC). Air China is based in Beijing, in the People's Republic of China (PRC), sworn enemy and claimant of Taiwanese sovereignty. The names are not interchangeable, and China Airlines and Air China crews are known to engage in airport brawls and run one another off taxiways.

* There is no such thing as British Air. British Airways is what you mean. If you can't remember, impress your travel agent by calling it "BA," as savvy fliers like to say.
There's plenty more where this came from. Read on!


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