Nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise, and nothing is more lame than a cookie-cutter compliment.
Machines aren't replacing proofreaders at all. Copy editors, who proofread and much, much more, use spellcheck as a tool but read every word that appears in the paper.
I caution against beginning or ending a quotation with ellipses.
If any sort of error is inexcusable, it's an incorrect phone number. One of the cardinal rules of copy editing is that every phone number published must be checked.
Writing headlines is a specialty - there are outstanding writers who will tell you they couldn't write a headline to save their lives.
Writers' bedtimes vary, but few have been spared the shock of a copy editor's early wake-up call.
A harsh reality of newspaper editing is that the deadlines don't allow for the polish that you expect in books or even magazines.