Why journalists misspell names & what they’re doing to help prevent the error

My parents loved the show “Family Ties” and named me after one of the main characters, Mallory Keaton.

Hoping to make my name sound more feminine, they spelled it with two A’s instead of the more common spelling (one A, one O.) Ever since, people have referred to me as “Mallory,” “Mallery,” “Malory” “Malary,” and yes, sometimes even “Melanie.” A couple of times, I’ve been referred to as “Mallard.” (Damn you, auto-correct!)

Having my name misspelled irks me so much that I decided to write about the issue last year. After seeing a lot of recent corrections for misspelled names, I decided to write about it again. This time, I interviewed several journalists to find out what names their news sites commonly misspell, and to find out what they’re doing to help prevent misspellings. Here’s what I learned.


Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

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