Life Advice



Ask Amy: Faulty corrections call out for correcting

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: This holiday season, my cousin and his wife will visit after five or six years. He and I are close but the wife, apparently an introvert, enjoys her own space, which is fine. The times we have been together she is always on devices, also fine. However, she has an annoying habit of “fact-checking” everything anyone says. It really grates on me.

I am a retired editor who did this for a living, but now I keep my mouth shut unless consulted.

How can this be handled without causing hurt feelings?

I think it is rude and inconsiderate. She has no clue about sourcing, and her comments often are inaccurate — making it all the more annoying.

– Corrected to Death

Dear Corrected: I’ve passed your query along to my own longtime editor, Tracy Clark. In addition to saving me from my own errors “on the regular,” Tracy is the award-winning author of a wonderful series of crackling crime novels, all set in her hometown of Chicago. Her latest is: “Runner (A Chicago Mystery)” (Kensington, 2021).


Here’s Tracy’s response:

“Be strong, my friend. The Fraternal Order of Fact-checking Editors Who Must Tick-a-Lock to Save Christmas (FOFEWMTSC) sees you. We feel your pain.

We are the ones who drive past a highway billboard, see a comma in the wrong place, and lament the fact that we cannot fix it.

We are the ones who stand in the “15 items or less” line in the grocery store rolling our eyes in aggrieved silence.


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