From expensive and embarrassing misprints to causing a spacecraft disaster, we count ten innocent typos that had shocking consequences!
10 – The Bible Promotes Promiscuity,
- To err is human, but apparently not even the heavenly father is above the odd inattention to detail.
- In 1631, London’s Baker Book House published what came to be known as ‘The Wicked Bible’. Somehow they allowed a mistake to slip through in the Ten Commandments. The missing word accidentally resulted in the command ‘Thou shalt commit adultery.’
- Parliament was furious and ordered that all bible copies with errors be immediately destroyed. The London publisher was also fined 3000 pounds. Very unchristian.
9 – Seller Short-Changes Himself,
- A typo in an Ebay listing left a red-faced seller significantly short-changed. The listing was for a 150-year-old bottle of Allsop’s Arctic Ale, which was worth a small fortune to vintage collectors.
- However, the seller misspelt the brand name, resulting in next to no ad traffic. Since no collectors knew the bottle was for sale, an eagle-eyed shopper who chanced upon the rare booze was able to purchase it for a paltry $304.
- Using correct spelling, the lucky buyer promptly re-sold it for a tidy $503,300.
8 – Brave New Word,
- English is a hodgepodge language made up of words from all over. Although grammar junkies believe it’s sacred, the language actually has some words that are based neither on Greek nor Latin; they’re freaking typos.
- ‘Dord’ is one such word. It first appeared in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary in 1931 as a physics and chemistry noun meaning density. It was then used freely until 1939 when an editor discovered the word lacked an origin story or an ‘etymology’.
- After the grammar police broke down the door to investigate, it was revealed that ‘dord’ was originally submitted by Webster’s chemistry editor and was supposed to read ‘D or d’, which was the abbreviated form of ‘density’. But the letters were printed too close together, and a new word was born.
7 – Car Dealership Promotional Error,
- In 2007, a Roswell car dealership conceived a brilliant promotion to increase sales. They sent out 50,000 scratch tickets, one of which would reveal a $1000 cash prize.
- Unfortunately, the Atlanta-based marketing company behind the production mistakenly printed every one of the 50,000 scratch tickets as a grand-prize winner. This brought the dealership’s grand payout to $50 million, which would’ve made even Oprah look like a stingy gift-giver.
- Unable to honour the debt, the dealership offered ticket-holders a $5 Walmart consolation certificate, which cost them $250,000. Definitely an expensive blunder.
6 – NYC Ticket Price Blunder,
- In 2013, New York City’s Transportation Authority had to recall 160,000 maps and posters announcing a price hike for pay-per-ride travel cards.
- The price was rising from $4.50 to $5.00, but a typographical error listed the ‘new’ price as $4.50, so the information was recalled – most likely at commuters’ expense.
- I suppose we should be grateful the ‘new’ price wasn’t $450, which is probably what a train ride will cost in ten years.