They say chili, I say chile (I swear!)

Green chile peppers roasting

Update: So apparently there’s a big debate about this east vs. west and the Associated Press stylebook says “chili.” But food publications use chile and so does anyone west of Missouri. So I guess we’re both right. But since I’m writing about New Mexico, I’m writing chile!

ARGH!!!!!!!!! So I wrote this story for the Boston Globe about New Mexico chiles. Green or red? Yep, that’s the Official State Question. And I even pointed out how New Mexico barely recognizes the concept of East Coast “chili” stew. And I talked about the differences between chili and chile. The  peppers are chiles. The dishes they make are chile dishes. The class I took at the Santa Fe School of Cooking was about chiles. The photos in the paper are of chiles. Unfortunately, from what I can tell, and I couldn’t even see the whole story because of the paywall, the story has “chili” every place it should be “chile.” The text is wrong. The headline is wrong. The captions are wrong. First, I let the copy desk know, and they informed the online folks. Then I RAN to my computer to make sure I’d used the correct spelling in text and captions in the version I sent in. I had.  From what I can tell, it’s all been fixed online, but the printed version is out. And it’s wrong. And, wow, do I feel like an igit.

Am I mad at the Globe? Well, no. I used to work on that copy desk. I know how difficult — and thankless, too — the work can be.  And mistakes happen. And, guess what? An editor called me last night with a question on that story. I’d made a bonehead mistake, and she saved me from myself. So, no, I’m not mad. But I’m sure not happy! This is a pretty bad mistake, but the good thing is that it didn’t hurt anyone or damage their reputation. Well, other than the Globe’s and mine, but that’s the newspaper biz.

Onward and upward. I’m going to go chili, er chile, I mean, CHILL OUT!


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