We generate two covers for our magazine each month: one that has a preprinted mailing label (for our subscribers) and one that is absent the mailing label (for our bulk distribution to hospitals, museums, etc.) Except for the label, the covers are pretty much the same.
Our proofreaders are given both covers to check. We have at least six proofreaders look at each issue, including me.
Apparently all six of us were stricken with some sort of bizarre, but temporary, blind spot. Because our April issue made it past each of us with nobody noticing a glaring error.
April is our summer day camps issue — an idea Raising Arizona Kids pioneered 22 years ago — so we’re pretty proud of it. We’ve watched lots of copycat efforts follow in its wake but I can say with great certainty that nobody take the time or care our staff puts into researching and fact-checking this annual directory, the Valley’s most comprehensive and unbiased (i.e. no one has to pay to be listed).
But we missed it. Every one of us. Thankfully our printer didn’t miss it, and called the office to let us know so we could correct it before it was too late.
I wondered if there is a word for this phenomenon. How could six people all miss the same thing? I found the word “scotoma,” which is defined on WebMD as “an isolated area…within the visual field, in which vision is absent or depressed.”
But the only word I could find that defines “seeing something that’s not there” was “hallucination.” Needless to say, our collective embarrassment will likely prevent a recurrence.