Media Moves and News

Testy Biz Copy Editor: Baby steps for the puzzled investor

October 18, 2017

Posted by Phillip Blanchard

Testy Copy EditorsAn investor who bought Google stock 13 years ago at its IPO price of $85 would now own a piece of the company worth about 22 times their original investment. That also takes into account the company’s stock split in 2015, when it restructured under a larger company called Alphabet.

Put it another way: A dollar in 2004 would have turned into 22, one hundred into $2,200, one thousand to $22,000, with an investor offering $45,500 becoming a millionaire by Friday.

Thanks for the arithmetic lesson, Fortune.


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A new survey by the research group Conference Board shows that for the first time in 12 years, more than half of U.S. workers say they are satisfied with their jobs. (

The editorialist in Philadelphia has translated “satisfied” to “happy.” Not so fast. Plenty of people are “satisfied” with their jobs but are far from “happy.” “Satisfy” means to meet expectations, perhaps by getting paid to work, albeit at a low rate.

To its credit, The Conference Board press release announcing the survey results did not use the word “happy.” We wanted to check the original report, but The Conference Board wants $995 for it. Our budget is tight.)


Whole Foods is one of those businesses that get extra attention, like Apple and Tesla. is one of them, too, and you can imagine the imperative editors felt when Amazon bought Whole Foods.

You don’t need to imagine it. When the takeover went into effect, Whole Foods lower a lot of prices, an event suitable for big ads in newspapers and on websites. But hold on. Why pay for ads when the news departments will run them free?

Of the hundreds of “news” stories heralding the new prices, the Washington Post’s stood out. It included a price list for the discounted products. (We’re not thinking that Post editors were influenced by Jeff Bezos.)

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We’re pleased to further disseminate this great “news” but sadly, we don’t accept advertising so the goodwill we earn won’t get us business, in which we are not.


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(Los Angeles Times)


We hear the retail business took a hit in Florida after the hurricane, too.


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Headline rule No. 1, MarketWatch: Do not write headlines that make the reader read it three times before figuring out what it means, which may turn out to be a wrong guess.


Phillip Blanchard is a former business editor at the Washington Post. Previously he worked at the Chicago Sun-Times and newspapers in upstate New York. He is founder of Testy Copy Editors. Email:





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