Major typos in print

Who among us has seen some really jaw-dropping typos?

I don’t mean from people on here, or in a chat room, or even in e-mails. I mean in promotions, books, magazines, any kind of printed media. With printed media, the manuscript is almost always examined by several people (author, managing editor, editor, copy editor, and a few proofreaders). And even so, on occasion I’ll see a major snafu, one that should have been caught.

(In case you’re wondering - yes, I am a copy editor!)

I’ll give you an example. Last year I saw an article in TV Guide that mentioned “flour” - only they were discussing “flowers.” Pretty bad!

And one of my grammar reference books contains this sentence:

“To lose weight, you must forgo deserts.”

(Somehow, I think I could refrain from visiting the Sahara and STILL gain weight! I bet they meant “desserts.”)

Anyone have others?

When I was working for newspaper, my boss was fond of telling us about a neighboring city’s paper’s major screw up. Sesame Street live was in town, and the paper did a story on it. One of the characters featured in the main picture was the Count. In the caption, “Count” was spelled with no “o”.

Sounds like a fun show! :wink:

Well, I found this outrageous. When Garrison Keillor came to town again, the local paper did a feature on his work. Let me tell you, this is a liberal, hip, NPR-loving town. We’re also midwestern with our share of Lutherans. This guy is well-liked and well-known around here. Well, the paper misspelled, in large type, Lake Wobegon. They wrote WoeBeGone. Okay, yes, that’s the play on words that Mr. Keillor intended, but that’s not how it is spelled. The simplest check on his published works would turn up the correct spelling, as Lake Wobegon is part of at least one book title. I can’t believe the reporter wouldn’t even bother with that much. The reporter had probably never even heard of him. Harumph.

This year there was another, similar incident, although I can’t remember who the public figure was. People in my office were embarrassed that our local press couldn’t get her facts/works straight.

(BTW, I am aware that PRI, not NPR, distributes Keillor’s show… it’s just NPR is so much more recognizable when you’re trying to get across the ethos of this place…)

Several years ago there was an ad in the Want ads section of the paper for the Literacy Coalition. There was a grammatical error in it.

A few years back, I found two grammatical errors in a slick multiple color tri fold brochure by a local non profit.

1978 I worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Some one in my office designed a logo for an upcoming Skate a-Thon, passed it around the office, we all looked said, looks good etc. Got printed up in brochures, sign up sheets, posters etc. and was distributed to middle and high schools in three counties. I followed up with phone calls. ONE person said “did you notice the typo???” “Mucular Dystrophy Association”.

Same year, the Michigan State University Course handbook proudly proclaimed that it was from “Michigan State Unveristy”.

Nope, never noticed them, myself…

I used to earn my bread as a proofreader, and such things still give me the willies. Knowing that seeing one of those things could cost you your job takes some of the fun out.

Nevertheless . . .

My favorite was in a tombstone ad for a chiropractic practice. The headline read: “Back Pain? Dick Trouble?”

I forget the details, but I did notice recently that the copy on the back of the box for my son’s video of Thomas and Magic Railroad got the name of one of the main characters wrong.

My favorite save came when I was working for the ad agency for KinderCare child care centers. I was proofing the copy for a brochure, and was reading the section on their selective employment practices when I came across this sentence: “We hire people who lover children”.

If I ever need more examples of serious typos, and bad editing in general, I just go buy today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Generally doesn’t take more than a page or so.

In a menu I saw at a fine restaurant, the soup was described as being “hardy,” as in “A hardy broth.”

I decided not to have the soup. If it had been “hearty,” I might have tried it. But the idea of eating soup that was capable of endurance didn’t appeal to me.

When I was a paperboy, the paper I delivered, “The Daily Sentinel” (Grand Jct., CO), had a picture of a kid who had an unusual pet one day. The paragraph-long caption said the boy was often asked why he didn’t have a more traditional pet, like “a dog or a act.”

Yes, “act”. They misspelled “cat”, one of the first words English-speaking kids learn to spell!

I noticed this mainly because the line with the misspelling was right on the primary fold, so as I rolled the papers to fit in my satchel, I saw it over and over, 100 times.

Ok, paint me purple and put a pillow in my nose, but I can’t work out what this is trying to say. If this is a typo, what is the word supposed to be? I don’t have any trouble with guys named Dick. :slight_smile:

Okay, I haven’t had my coffee yet today. What was it supposed to be???

Disk Trouble

or Disc Trouble. I think I got the right spelling; I always get those two mixed up. (Going along with the joke)

Continuing the OP, I’ve seen:

Want Ad - “Tickets for the Syracuse Sympathy [instead of Symphony] Orchestra”

Winston-Salem, NC - 1991 - Large banners for the “Dixie Classis [instead of Classic] Fair” all along the streets and the fair itself.

Last year, my company was one of many to publish books on the Y2K bug. Ours dealt with technical issues regarding pension and benefit plans.

In the back, we included links to Web sites, articles, etc., that we thought our readers would find interesting or enlightening. After the book was printed, I was asked to visit all these Web sites, tell them they were in our book and ask if they’d care to put up a banner ad or a link for us in return.

One site, however, gave me trouble. It was a long URL, starting with (XXX in place of what the typo was – you’ll see why soon).

When I entered it in, it gave me a FNF in return – File Not Found. Assuming they’d simply moved the article, I decided to go back to the main Web page and find it on my own – an action I would think many Web-savvy people would try. It was then that I noticed it was listed as, not Even worse – is, umm, NOT a nice site. The picture on the front page is a naked woman with a python wrapped around her. Yes, the Web site my company sent people to was called Zoo Porn!

By the way, as an aside, who made sure to spell-check their entries for a thread about typos? LOL.

My guess is that they didn’t actually mispell it - it was a simple case of dyslexia gone horribly, horribly wrong! Common in publishing, of course - and even in message boards - but you would think at least one editor would have noticed it, especially since it was in a caption! <shivers>

In my earlier days, we always had a fun time making sure all the ‘l’s’ were in the ‘publics’ :slight_smile:

A week or two ago, in a column in the Arts Section, the New York Times (yes, the fuckin’ NEW YORK TIMES) referred to the classic novels of “Charles Dickens and Jane Austin.”

When I was in college I was secretary of The Brooklyn College chapter of NYPRG. That’s the New York Public Interest Research Group, for those of you how don’t know.

One of the many things NYPIRG did was print leaflets for other like-minded groups and organizations. It was always noted on the bottom of these leaflets that The New York Public Research Interest Group printed and paid for these leaflets.

One week had all of us sitting in our little on-campus office putting little "l"s in the word Public. We all thought it would have been a better idea to just change the focus of the group.

Where I grew up, we always had fun with the frequent typos and bad grammar of our paper, the Daily World. My two favorites:

In a classified ad for a child-care position, it said the hours were “mostly days, with occasional night shits.” Seemed appropriate, considering diaper changes and all.

In an article about a manhunt the county sheriff was involved in, it said the efforts were hampered by “three inches of fresh snot on the ground.” Yep, that would hamper my efforts, for sure.

Given my sig,:stuck_out_tongue: I feel obligated to post to this thread…

I happened to visit a large multiplex cinema in Paris about the time the Steven Spielberg film Hook came out in France. There was a huge, custom-made pictorial sign at the theater entrance showing Robin Williams and two of his co-stars from the film. The names over the pictures of the co-stars read:

There are TWO establishments (different owners) nearby that have huge, professionally made signs that loudly proclaim, “LAUNDRAMAT.”

The Madison, WI morning paper The Wisconsin State Journal had a now legendary (around here anyway) one a few years ago. Multicolor ad for a grocery store showed those Ore-Ida frozen french fries. I imagine the copy should’ve read:


Instead of


Of course someone called it to the attention of the local morning loudmouth DJ who had a field day with it.

Think I’ve still got it cut out around somewhere.