1898 Front Page Typo

I was looking up some old newspaper articles for a patron and came across this hilarious little typo. It’s even funnier when you think about the fact that somebody actually set that by hand! (One assumes that perhaps an errant S made it’s way into the T box?)

I checked the next day to see if they mentioned it as a correction. They didn’t. :wink:

Mundane? Entirely. Pointless? Absolutely, positively. I must share? You betcha.


Pardon me. I’m a charter member of the Fucking Morons Club, so this may explain why I’m not seeing it.

Subheadline, third column.

What did the scared bear do in the woods?

Okay. Continuing to prove my worth to The Club, I still don’t see it. What I see in the third column is:


Distressing Situation in the Cuban Cities


Brought 441 Refugees from Santiago to Kingston–Hungry People Fed by American Consul

So, um … am I a moron?

It’s the use of the word “shat” in the right-most column, Mindfield

All the way over to the right:

Key West People Getting Scared
Fear Shat the Semi Cuban Town Will be Bombarded
Timid Ones Are Leaving


How the hell did I miss [del]s[/del]that?

I blame Tuesday – which is really just Monday II.

Frankly, I think it’s unlikely that a mistake that obvious was made by accident, and then passed proof-reading. There’s another oddity about that line: there’s more space between “the” and “Semi-” than between the other word pairs. The normal thing for a ling line that would be to use equal spaces between words, then centre the line by adding spaces at both ends if necessary. What I think is that one person set the line as “Fears That the Semi-”, then another person as a prank took out the “s” and “T”, inserted “S” and inserted an extra space to fill out the line – but in the wrong place. So the second person had access to the printing room, but wasn’t a very good compositor.

As to why there was no correction next day, the newspaper would not have wanted to draw any more attention to a prank like this. And if they worked out who had done, it, either he had already resigned, or he would have been sacked.

Yeah, fourth column, sorry. I was having trouble getting that page to reload. :slight_smile:

The typesetter’s grandson works for the Ottawa paper

I don’t know what a newspaper would have done in the late 19th century after accidentally printing a swear word in a column head, but these days you don’t run a correction for a typo unless it results in a factual error.

Ha! I’ve never seen that before and I live in Ottawa.

Reminds me of the phone book listing of a diaper service a few years back in Ottawa. The company is located in the town of Stittsville, but the phone book had it listed as Shittsville. (For a diaper company!)

One can imagine where they’d locate the brassiere company.

Oh, the sign for the town has been altered a few times thusly.

I dunno, I was looking for something like “The people who were supposed to have sacked the people who have been sacked have now been sacked. The State Newspaper humbly apologizes for any confusion which may have resulted and had no intention of impugning the character of the good people of the semi-Cuban town of Key West.”

hehehehe, shat, hehehe.

I quite like “European Growls Considered Harmless” too.