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Slate Correction:

Last week, as I noted here, Slate reported that the Vatican had added something to the transcript of the Pope's controversial recent speech -- something that the Pope didn't actually say. It turned out, though, that it was the Vatican's original transcript that was mistaken, and the new transcript properly reflected the Pope's statement; the correction of the transcript was thus quite right.

I'm very pleased to report that Slate has corrected this assertion, here and here; they will also run something the next "corrections" column. Many thanks for clearing this up to my brother Sasha, to an unnamed German speaker that Slate consulted, and to an unnamed German speaker that I consulted.

Revonna LaShatze:
Thank God.
9.25.2006 9:28pm
Steven Jens (mail) (www):
I realize this is hardly an original comment, but this is one of the great things about the web as news medium. A newspaper story stored on paper or microfiche is wrong forever, even if a corrections column corrects the record a few days later. On the web, a respectable publication can amend the original story (and will, if truly respectable, notify the reader that this has been done).

This doesn't help early readers of the story, of course, unless they check back or read the corrections column. But it works out better for posterity.
9.26.2006 12:09am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Timothy Noah writes:

A few days after the protests began, the Vatican added the boldfaced insert, "a brusqueness which leaves us astounded" to its English online text. I concluded (and initially wrote here) that this language had not been uttered in the original speech, but was being added after the fact to appease (halfheartedly, I thought) those who took offense. That was incorrect. A videotape shows that the pope did say (in German) "a brusqueness which leaves us astounded," but for some reason the Vatican's initial English-language translation (and that used by The Catholic World News) left the phrase out. I regret the error. I still think, however, that the pope's distancing language was insufficient, because "astounded" is a value-neutral term. Why not "offended"?


Instead of opining on the merits of the Pope's accurately translated speech, why doesn't Mr. Noah confine his correction to correcting and explaining his error. I for one would like to know how he initially came to the conclusion that the Pope didn't really say what the corrected transcript said. What was your basis for that conclusion Mr. Noah? Anti-Catholic bigotry or something else? Please explain.
9.26.2006 2:41am
Automatic Caution Door:
My goodness, how many German people are there out there without names? And how do they identify each other?!
9.26.2006 8:02am
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
Good thing Germans have six names -- or else there would be no way to tell "unnamed German speaker that Slate consulted" apart from "unnamed German speaker that I consulted."
9.26.2006 10:23am
Alaska Jack (mail):
As I noted in the previous thread on this, I would be most interested in hearing Noah explain why he felt comfortable jumping to the conclusion he did, with no research a la Stuart Buck.

- Alaska Jack
9.26.2006 3:58pm
A.S.:
I had missed this post. I'm happy to say that EV was right and I was wrong on the prior thread!
9.26.2006 8:51pm
Horace Jeffery Hodges (mail) (www):
Perhaps I'm one of the "unnamed" German speakers -- albeit not a German -- and for those yet interested in such things, my post on this issue, which Professor Eugene Volokh originally linked to, can still be accessed at my blog:

What the Pope really, actually said in Regensburg...

I actually posted several times on this controversy, such as in this entry, which also concerns the English translation from the Pope's original German lecture:

What the Pope didn't quote...

My posts on this issue cover the dates from September 16 to September 24, but I'll spare the links since those already provided will get one to the vicinity.

Jeffery Hodges

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9.26.2006 10:50pm