Thursday, January 2, 2014

10 Worst Typos of the Year for 2013

There are two things that go through most writers’ heads when they spot an egregious typographical error: first, a feeling of superiority, followed in many cases by relief. (Whew! It wasn’t me!) Here are ten of the past year’s worst errors to make it into print, or— in at least one case—into mint.

#10) A football player by any other name …

Whoever made the jerseys for Mississippi State managed the correct spelling for players like Siddoway, Mordecai, and Bohanna, but it must have been close to lunch break when they got to the shirt for Artimas Samuel. (And thank goodness they didn’t have to include his first name.)

Samuel fared better than Washington-based Indoor Football League wide receiver Steven Whitehead did in a TV interview, though:


#9) Barry Bonds is dead.

Rumors of baseball MVP Barry Bonds’ demise have been greatly exaggerated—at least by the Associated Press. An article mentioning Bonds’ December, 2003 grand jury testimony reported that “Barry Bonds died in August of that year.” Deadspin caught the error before it was corrected, remarking, “Well, at least he got to time travel before he died.”

#8) Lance Armstrong: big fan of Persian carpets.

Via Sports Mole.

A Canadian news network made a startling revelation about Lance Armstrong. Or not-so-startling. It rather depends on how you feel about floor coverings.

#7) First, worst. To-may-to, to-mah-to.


Democratic PAC Emily’s List endorsed Massachusett’s Attorney General Martha Coakley in her gubernatorial bid … sort of. The site read: "We've just endorsed Martha in her race to be the worst woman elected governor in Massachusetts."

#6) Newspaper wins big awards, loses spelling bee.

Via Poynter.

The problem with tooting your own horn is making sure you spell “horn” correctly. A Halifax, Nova Scotia newspaper managed to misspell its own name in a headline proclaiming its many awards.

#5) West Virginia spills their guts.

Via Larry Brown Sports.

According to the Weirton Daily Times, West Virginia University lost more than just the game when they were defeated in the Pinstripe Bowl. Of the 38-14 loss to Syracuse, Larry Brown Sports said, “When you get smashed that badly by a 7-5 team, you deserve a typo like that.”

(Note: this typo appeared at the tail-end of 2012, just after the posting of that year’s typo review.)

#4) Americans like to put Velveeta where?

The worst thing about this Livestrong article isn’t the fact that it asks a question even a child could probably answer correctly. No, look more closely. I’ll give you a minute if you’d like to spot it yourself (right click "view image" to enlarge). Got it? “The gooey product has a permanent home in many Americans’ panties.” The error was around for almost two years before it was pointed out by Boing Boing last January. Unlike Velveeta’s home in my panties, online errors don’t have to be permanent.

#3) Somebody was L-bent on painting this sign.

Via The Big Lead.

Players in the College World Series in Omaha may have been proud to be there, but probably weren’t as proud to sit in a dugout with the word “college” misspelled on it. There’s something about an error in huge painted letters that seems far worse than a mere typographical error. It’s easy to type too quickly and miss something, but how exactly does that happen with paint? (And is it called a painto?) 

#2) A high school athlete has a new nickname.

Via Reddit.

Somewhere, a yearbook staff member is switching to Home Ec. (More here.)

#1) Copy editors: not infallible.

Via The Telegraph.

When the Vatican issued a new coin to commemorate the first year of Pope Francis’ papacy, a few were sold before someone noticed a pretty serious misspelling: Jesus was rendered as Lesus. Said The Atlantic: “Ludge not, lest ye be ludged.”

Bonus entry: worst layout of the year.

Via Breaking News.

Empire magazine’s interview with Michael Fassbender suffered from a rookie design mistake. Fassbender himself appears to be reacting in embarrassment.

If you missed last year’s typos of the year, check them out. They’re still plenty funny.

What’s the worst typo or error you’ve spotted recently? Or, if you’re not too ashamed to tell, what’s the worst one you’ve made?


  1. Oh my gosh! I laughed outloud at this post! You'll be seeing this included in my muddle links. Too good not to share!

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I save these up all year long.

  2. Kelly, typos are heights of stupidity and unforgivable. Whatever happened to proofreading? I remember, more than two decades ago, a leading Indian daily used the word "public" in an editorial headline without the letter 'L'!

    1. That same typo appeared on a college commencement program somewhere recently.

    2. A road not far from my house was called "Cardinal Gracious Road" instead of "Cardinal Gracias Road." It was around for a number of years. Knowing how our civic body functions, I'm sure it's still there. I'm going to check it out the next time I pass by.

  3. That issue of Empire will be mine! Thanks Kelly!

  4. There goes my Friday night wine right out my nose. Note to self - don't drink and read funny posts about typos.


  5. This post was a riot! We see handpainted signs with misspellings in them all the time in Chicago. The signs tend to be painted by non-native English speakers so it's sort of forgiveable. But the people who hired the painters should know better than to accept them, let alone display them. There was one HUGE storefront sign (not unlike that COLLLEGE gaffe) in my old neighborhood that said: "Whosale Asian Furniture." Stayed there for the enitre life of the store.

    BTW - Thanks to your "Most Bizarre Calendars" post we are now the proud owners of a copy of "Vampire Kittens 2014." I'll being during a monthly tribute to each bloody kitty on my blog. First one is up tomorrow.

  6. There was one from my home county making the rounds, a banner touting pubic education. (Which is always a good idea, IMO, though that's not what they meant.)

    Love these - thanks for the giggles, I really needed 'em.

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