Streams

Typos Beware

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson, members of the Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL) and co-authors of The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friend's Changing the World, One Correction at a Time discuss their project to fix typos in signs across the country.

Guests:

Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson

Comments [75]

Rich B from Forest Hills

Worked as an importer of motorcycle parts and I was trying to soothe over an angry customer. I wrote him an email with a solution and ended it with "Sorry for an incontinence this may have caused you" Outlook changed a typo of "inconvenience" to "incontinence". The guy emailed me back and said he laughed his quote was "I was Pi*&&ed off, but it didn't cause me to pee myself"

Aug. 20 2010 12:28 PM
R. M. from New York City

I am a teacher at a New York City school. I have helped high school students with their resumes. Once, a student who wanted to write and sing music stated his objective was to be a "raper" instead of a "rapper"

Aug. 20 2010 12:12 PM
Alberta Handelman from Bloomfield, NJ

Two Friend's should be Two Friends

Large new sign for sign-making store in Bloomfield reads "SINGS"

-Alberta Handelman

Aug. 20 2010 12:04 PM
John L. Randolph

On the Metropolitan Opera Program one night a musical passage had, "Thirty Second notes," instead of "32nd notes." On a menu, "broiled baby liver, ice coffee and spilt pea soup."

Aug. 20 2010 12:04 PM
Billy from Brooklyn

Piggybacking off Francyne's comment, a sign on my office's bathroom door says Open Door "Slowly." It's almost like it's said with a wink and a smile.

Aug. 20 2010 12:01 PM
RJ

An em dash is also used to emphasize the end of a sentence; i.e., I hated that book--[em dash]really, really hated it.

Aug. 20 2010 12:01 PM
Christina from Guttenberg, NJ

I've noticed that lots of restaurants sell "mescaline salad" instead of mesclun salad. Another pet peeve of mine: beauty "regimes." While some people can get militant about hair and skin care, I think it's safe to say that they follow regimens.

Aug. 20 2010 12:01 PM
Richard Mishell from East Williamsburg

There used to be a restaurant on University Place in the Village that had a sign proclaiming "Rest rooms for costumers only".

Aug. 20 2010 12:00 PM
maggie

typo:
a capital C in copy-editing after a semi-colon.

Aug. 20 2010 11:59 AM
ericka

the inappropriate and over-use of quotation marks;

such as We Are "Having" A Sale

Aug. 20 2010 11:59 AM
Rachel from Sunset Park

My favorite typo of my is when I was telling someone how many more interviews we needed to complete a study.

I said we have a few more stranglers that need to come.

I meant to say we need to have a few more stragglers.

Aug. 20 2010 11:59 AM
Jim B

American Classic: When the "S" falls off the Shell sign.

Aug. 20 2010 11:59 AM
Dennis from long Island

Also, on main page:

"Happy Birthday Youtube: Our Favorite Videos Ever" should be "Happy Birthday, Youtube: Our Favorite Videos Ever"

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
Leah

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
RJ

An en dash is also used in the following instance:

World War II-[end dash]era veteran

i.e., when more than one word is used in a modifying adjectival phrase

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
ddartley from Stuy Town

There's a nail salon near me.

Bless their hearts, they've named their business "Saloon Success." It's on their nice, big, decorative storefront sign and everything.

If I had money to burn I'd pay for them to rename their business and give them a new sign!

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
athar from nj

my most memorable "typo" was being told in a journalism course about a headline in a North Dakota newspaper. there are two towns located close to each other. one is called Climax and the other is called Fertile.
we were told that a local newspaper carried the following headline:
"Fertile woman dies in Climax".

i also recall being told about a college paper that wrote "coito ergu sum" instead of cogito ergo sum.

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM

one of my favorites was a massage place in chinatown that had a sign that said "best black rub" instead of back rub.

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
km from austin, tx

In the description, there should be a comma after the title of the book.

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
Caitlin

Ooh yay! I'd call in, but I'm at work.

My favorite typo, spotted at my local C-town: yumbo yams!

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
The Truth from Becky

Some of what you guys are pointing out are grammatical NOT typographical errors...duh!

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
Debra

Yes, Caitlin - you got it! That's my biggest peeve, too - those incorrectly-used apostrophes for plurals.

Aug. 20 2010 11:58 AM
Don from Half Moon Bay, CA

In an earlier section of the web page:

"The Healthcare Reform Bill has been the law for five months, but many Americans don’t know how it effects their own situation."

Should be affects, not effects.

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
fd from NYC

St. Francis' name isn't even Francis, it's Francesco. He was Italian. So these guys are complaining about a so-called misspelling of an anglicization of his name. Maybe these two prigs aren't as smart as they think they are.

Saint Francis of Assisi (Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226)

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
maggie

typo:
a capital C in copy-editing after a semi-colon.

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
RLewis from the bowery

My home town - this is why I had to leave...
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/08/road-crews-misspells-school-in-the-zone-near-a-nc-high-school/1?csp=34news

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
David from Washington, DC

Typos COMMA Beware. (Noun of direct address.)

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
Seldon from brooklyn

A friend of a friend wanted a tattoo that said Virginia is for lovers, but instead got Virgina is for lovers.

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
Matthew from Manhattan

Tom, above, has the typo on this page.

On the Brian Lehrer main page, where I was looking for the typo, I would suggest that "School Year Start Date" should actually be "School-Year Start-Date"

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
Jim M from New Fairfield, CT

People who say "excetera" and then write the abbreviation "ect."

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
K.C. from Sunnyside, NY

I used to work for the CUNY Graduate Center and one always had to be careful when typing too quickly lest something terrible creep into one of your emails or one of the GC's publications . . .

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
Frank from Glendale, Queens

"New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein "is looks" forward..." should be "is looking", or "looks"

Aug. 20 2010 11:57 AM
James from Carroll Gardens

Should be "friends"...it's plural, not possessive.

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Pephie from Grnpt

Both "em-dash" and "en-dash" as acceptable as dashes. It is a matter of preference.

Just be consistent! Just put spaces around the "en-dash" (N-dash) while no spaces on either side of the wider em-dash (M-dash)

The classic is the M-width dash (used by the New Yorker for example.) But the N-width dash with spaces is gaining prominence and even I am starting to shift with it...

N-dash is uses in ranges.

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
marcela from nyc

It's Friends', not Friends

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Joseph from Brooklyn

One of my favorites is when Ms. magazine misspelled feminism on its cover.

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/magazines/fishbowl_flashback_ms_magazine_and_the_feminists_who_didnt_know_how_to_spel_29438.asp

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Jeremy from Harlem

"Friend's"

I'm commonly seeing "its," possessive, having an apostrophe inserted.

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
christine from brooklyn

It's: 'Friends,' not 'Friend's'.

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Freyda Faivus from Manhattan

I think "effects" s/b affects.

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Clark from LIC

Ahh, the dreaded semicolon. Said Vonnegut: "First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college."

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
David from Brooklyn

benefiting

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Joe from Brooklyn

"Joel Klein is" is obviously THE typo, but there's no reason for "Copywriting" to be capitalized in this sentence:

"Plus, handicapping the 31st district State Senate race; Copyediting the USA; and your calls on follow-up Friday."

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Debora from Stamford

The hypen on friend's in the title is wrong.

Aug. 20 2010 11:56 AM
Cheryl from NYC

Book title: No apostrophe needed in "Friend's"

Aug. 20 2010 11:55 AM
The Truth from Becky

Of all of my pet peeves this is very low on the list! Primarily because I understand the origin of the "typo". The author is usually thinking faster than they are writing/typing. Some are quite funny too!

Aug. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Janet from Harlem

Friend's--right? My favorite/most annoying is its/it's. Not sure if this is a typo or misspelling.

Aug. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Cait

All to often I see the country Colombia spelled Columbia. Even in Whole Foods.

Aug. 20 2010 11:55 AM
grace wang from New York

Two Friends Changing the World

Aug. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Dennis from long Island

co-authors of The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friend's Changing the World, One Correction at a Time.

There should be no apostrophe in "Friends"

Aug. 20 2010 11:55 AM

Looks like there are a few unintentional typos on the wnyc show page.

Aug. 20 2010 11:54 AM
Maggie

How do you spel anelly wretentive?

Aug. 20 2010 11:54 AM
Janice

"benefitting" actually should only have one "t"

Aug. 20 2010 11:54 AM
Kathy from Hoboken

My favorite typo was on a short yellow school bus: school was spelled shcool

Aug. 20 2010 11:54 AM
David Gura from Washington, DC

Typos[comma] Beware

Aug. 20 2010 11:54 AM
Danielle from Queens

RadioLab did a great show recently called "Oops" that weaved funny auto-spell checked stories throughout the program. Good stuff.

Aug. 20 2010 11:53 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Some funny ones here (not strictly typos):

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/11/travel/funny-signs.html

Aug. 20 2010 11:53 AM

In your first paragraph, the word should be "affects" instead of "effects."

Aug. 20 2010 11:53 AM
Valerie Booth

I found the typo - The Healthcare Reform Bill has been the law for five months, but many Americans don’t know how it effects their own situation.

Should be "affects" their own situation.

Aug. 20 2010 11:53 AM
Ben from Queens

'how it effects'

Aug. 20 2010 11:53 AM
Tom from Toronto

Friends, not Friend's.

Aug. 20 2010 11:52 AM
Kathy

My favorite typo was on a short yellow school bus: school was spelled shcool

Aug. 20 2010 11:52 AM

"New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is looks forward to..."

Aug. 20 2010 11:52 AM
Leo in Staten Island

No! Brian! Already a mistake.

- An "En" dash is used to separate a range of numbers.
-An "Em" dash is used to separate parentheticals.
-A hyphen is different and is used to break words.

Aug. 20 2010 11:52 AM
David from Inwood

Caitlin: You win! Call in...

Aug. 20 2010 11:52 AM
Herb

effects should be affects

Aug. 20 2010 11:51 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Ooops.. That was a read-o on my part!

Aug. 20 2010 11:51 AM
Danielle from Queens

Would this be your typo?

"New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is looks forward to the new school year and discusses this year’s dramatic drop in student achievement. Plus, college books; the NY Secretary of State; Gulf seafood; and teenagers losing hearing."

I also love the local Queens Deli: "2" Brother's Cafe...

Aug. 20 2010 11:51 AM
jmp from tribecca

park51 - 51 Park

Aug. 20 2010 11:51 AM

"New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is looks forward to..."

Aug. 20 2010 11:50 AM
Phoebe from NJ

benefitS

Aug. 20 2010 11:50 AM
Gerald Fnord from Palos Verdes

Terry Pratchett (after someone else, perhaps) refers to the "tradesman's apostrophe", as one of those can show up _anywhere_ within a hand-lettered sign, especially where fruit are being displayed.

Aug. 20 2010 11:50 AM
francyne pelchar from Pelahm Bay Park

Sometimes it's just dumbass in action. I've gone into shops displaying apostrophe and quotation mark errors on their signs only to be told that it doesn't make any difference. for example: Barber's, we are "open".

Aug. 20 2010 11:22 AM
FranciL from Roosevelt Island

I saw this sign posted in a store in Long Island CIty, near the Queensboro Bridge.
"No Soliticitations At All, Ever!"

Aug. 20 2010 11:12 AM
zissou from BK

Typo on CNN:
http://www.someecards.com/2010/08/16/cnn-made-a-funny-typo-today

Aug. 20 2010 11:03 AM
Caitlin

That IS "Friends", right? Not "Friend's"? Or is it supposed to be ironic?

Aug. 20 2010 10:15 AM

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