Briefly: cutnpaste

In the NYT this morning, in a piece by Katrin Bennhold, “A Young Man’s Path to ISIS Suicide Attack”, the following in my print edition:

Mr. Asmal left his family home over the Easter holidays, just a few weeks before of his final school exams …

Ok, a combo of before and shy or short of, but such combos can arise in many ways. What happened here? This one looked like a cutnpaste error, and so it turned out to be.

Back on this blog on 12/21/08, I wrote:

A classic cutnpaste error, in which the writer starts one version … and then the writer, or an editor, thinks of an improvement … but changes only part of the first version, so producing a combination of the two versions.

(A number of other examples elsewhere on this blog.)

A look at the change log shows us the initial version was a cutnpaste before shy of, then fixed to the before of I saw in my paper, and finally to before.

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