Fair: Sympathy for a typo. Foul: $17 million and a lot of bull

2013-02-15T15:45:00Z 2013-03-01T14:08:07Z Fair: Sympathy for a typo. Foul: $17 million and a lot of bull stltoday.com

FAIR: Administrators at Missouri State University in Springfield have taken a lot of grief since the Springfield News-Leader reported last week that the campus bookstore had handed out 6,000 canvas bookbags in January emblazoned with a dreadful typo: “Missouri State Univeristy.” Making it worse is that the bookstore’s director resigned last summer after officials discovered $81,000 in cash in his desk drawer. Still worse, the university can’t get its money back ($3.98 per bag) because university officials not only submitted misspelled copy, but approved a proof of the artwork. We shall not join in the chortling. A search of the Post-Dispatch computer archives shows 376 instances of the word “univeristy” showing up in the newspaper since 1981. Worse, for a newspaper founded by Joseph Pulitzer and controlled by his heirs until 2005, on 27 occasions since 1981 the name showed up in the paper as “Pultizer.” Copy-editing is a lost and under-appreciated art.

FOUL: We’re not real estate wizards, but after seven years and $17 million in state and local subsidies, the public deserves a little more from the Cordish Co. and the Cardinals’ Ballpark Village than a public pavilion, a restaurant and two bars, even if one of them will have a mechanical bull. But now that ground has been broken on two-block mini-village, maybe a thousand flowers will bloom. Maybe other investors were just waiting for a Budweiser-theme restaurant, a Cardinals-theme bar and a Professional Bull Riders’ “cowboy bar,” complete with dance floor and bull-ride. Maybe the five remaining blocks north of Busch Stadium now will blossom with development, as originally envisioned when the city, state and St. Louis County kicked in for the new ballpark. The Cardinals owners paid the equivalent of $219 million in 2012 dollars for the team in 1996, and Forbes magazine reckons its present value at $591 million. So maybe the bull-ride will be free. Probably not.

— Kevin Horrigan

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