I came across a humorous typo in a March 6, 2023 Washington Times article titled Jordan subpoenas DHS’s ousted disinformation chief, school board officials who challenged parents. The article details efforts by Mr. Jim Jordan, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to subpoena several individuals to provide testimony to the committee, namely Ms. Nina Jankowicz. Ms. Jankowicz, who is a former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board, is currently a registered foreign agent pursuant to her work for a purported anti-disinformation group funded by the government of the United Kingdom. But our purpose here is less to cover the story than to cover a typo which appeared in the original version of the article. I note from the outset that the report is authored by Mr. Stephen Dinan, who is one of the best reporters on U.S. immigration law and specifically the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, qualities which prompted me to add his author-specific RSS feed to my collection (see my post on author-specific feeds). I know not who is responsible for the typo, but the typo, now corrected, was amusing for people who have some familiarity with the structure of the Department of Homeland Security.
For the typo, let us refer to the first version of the article captured by the Wayback Machine. I quote the pertinent passage below:
Mr. Mayorkas gave conflicting accounts of what his disinformation board was trying to achieve, and faced withering criticism from Congress as he put the board on ICE.
(Note: Mr. Mayorkas refers to Alejandro Mayorkas, the incumbent Secretary of Homeland Security.)
“[A]s he put the board on ICE.”
The current version of the article read correctly reads “ice” instead of “ICE.” Did Mr. Dinan or the editor accidentally have caps lock on here. I think not. ICE, in all caps, stands for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a component of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE has many functions – some would say too many functions – but its most often discussed responsibility is enforcing the U.S. immigration laws in the U.S. interior (contrast with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which handles immigration enforcement at the border – see my posts on the CBP’s horse patrol). I suspect whoever was in charge of the final rendering of the article had a macro for all caps ICE since the term comes up often in articles about immigration laws and issues. While that would ordinarily be useful, there are cases where even a reporter who writes primarily about immigration law would need the regular old cold ice instead of the all-caps ICE. This, alas, was one such case.
The original ICE version of the article was fetched by my feed reader. By the time I checked again, ICE had been fixed. Fortunately for my objective of sharing the amusing typo that managed to sneak past the editor, it was preserved in the Internet Archive for posterity.