The Associated Press got a lesson in punctuation Wednesday morning after sending out a tweet that appeared, on first read, to say that a plane carrying the bodies of those killed in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy had, in turn, crashed in the Netherlands.
The tweet was met with an outpouring of grief and disbelief.
The unfortunate wording was in line with AP style — if the plane had, in fact, crashed, it would have been written “crash-lands” — but many suggested ways the tweet could have been more clear.
The AP soon clarified that the plane had, in fact, landed safely.
AP spokesman Paul Colford acknowledged the “poorly worded news alert,” saying the news agency sought to clarify “as quickly as possible.”
“This was an especially regrettable lapse that drew wide attention as Dutch families awaited the return of their loved ones’ remains,” Colford said.
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