Rantings of a sub-editor

April 21, 2010

Terrible typos – join in!

Filed under: freshly ground black people,oops! — substuff @ 9:53 am
Tags: , ,

Prompted by this week’s ‘ground black people’ boob, the Guardian put up a post on Comment is Free yesterday asking people for their favourite misspellings. See the whole thing here.

It’s still growing, but here are a few of the best so far:

A billboard outside a Chinese nail bar & herbal medicine establishment: “Loose weight, 100 percent guaranteed”

One of my favorites was a midwestern US newspaper that switched captions on two photos. Beverly Sills was just beginning her singing career and touring small cities, and there was also an outbreak of a livestock disease. Under a photo of a dead cow lying in a field: “Beverly Sills To Sing.” Under a photo of Beverly Sills: “Stinking Smut Hits Kansas.”

The Guardian supposedly once turned then foreign secretary David Owen’s post-summit “The future is unclear” into “The future is nuclear.”

When President Wilson was courting a widow by the name of Edith Galt, circa 1914, the Washington Post was, naturally, covering it in their gossip column. Now, the intended tidbit read: “Rather than paying attention to the play, the President spent the evening entertaining Mrs. Galt.” What was printed in the first edition: “…the President spent the evening entering Mrs. Galt.”

pressman56 had a few great ones:
“Due to an error in transmission we stated in an inquest report on Saturday that Mrs Susannah Vincent, of Porth, was found dead with a bottle in her left hand and a plastic bag over her head. This should have read ‘a Bible in her left hand’. We apologise for any distress caused to the family”. (Swindon Evening Advertiser)

“Police in Hawick yesterday called off a search for a 20-year-old man who is believed to have frowned after falling into the swollen River Teviot”. (The Scotsman)

“People in Preston ward are invited to a meeting at 7.15pm tonight in St Mary’s Church Hall, Brighton, to meet councillors and beat police officers.” (Evening Argus)

And a particularly popular one, first mentioned by mattasahatter:
Beloved (a)unt.

According to Kit, we have our own pepper story. In the late nineties, we published a story about  ‘pepper mines’. The reporter misheard on the phone and it should have been ‘pepper vines’. He also remembers his early days at the Bracknell News, when his sentence “I do now believe that reflexology can alleviate suffering” was published instead as “I do not believe…”

Vince reports that the Press Gazette once had a “pubic service”, plus several pre-subbed spellings of ‘county’ with the ‘o’ omitted.

My favourite is still: “Make no mistake, bogging is big business.” (It should have been blogging.)



  1. I stopped an error once: “… Aslef, the rail workers’ onion.”

    Made me giggle for days. I must get out more!

    Comment by Ant — April 21, 2010 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

    • Hahaha! I had to read that three times before I worked out what was wrong with it. Brilliant.

      Comment by substuff — April 21, 2010 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  2. My favourite recent howler was the Yahoo! News headline Beyoné leads the way at the Grammys

    Comment by Freelance Unbound — April 22, 2010 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  3. Best typo I have seen in a while was on AOL Eleven, talking about Katy Perry’s AMBLE bust….isn’t that something schoolkids do on the way home from school?! Bless.

    Comment by Wordy Rappinghood — April 25, 2010 @ 8:05 pm | Reply

  4. One of my colleagues has just made me fall about laughing at “The venue also offers baby-hanging facilities.”

    Comment by Tom Freeman — April 27, 2010 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

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