Justine comes to Bylth - Shawn Loughlin editorial
A little joke has been running through the village of Bylth over the last few weeks and if you caught my typo in the village’s name, you already know what I’m talking about.
Yes, when called upon to replace one of the stolen street signs from a few weeks ago, the historic village and its esteemed residents were graced with a sign that somehow took the five letters that make up the name of the village and jumbled them about – kind of like when you put all those dice with letters in the Boggle game and shake them around.
Alright, it wasn’t that bad, but a mistake had been made along the county road just on the edge of Blyth. The error has since been fixed, however, and all is right in the universe.
Trust me, I understand typos. There are few on this planet who realize the importance of proper grammar, spelling and punctuation more than a journalist. A typo can make people chuckle because of how silly it looks, or it can straight-up cause problems for you or someone else, depending on what you happened to type, as opposed to what you actually typed.
Heck, just this month in The Rural Voice, a sister publication of The Citizen, the nation’s Prime Minister was labelled as Justine Trudeau in the magazine’s coverage of the International Plowing Match in Walton. Funny? Yes. Embarrassing? Yes. Accurate? No. But, the reality of the situation is that it happens.
I will always have one typo that sticks in my craw when I was in my final semester at Humber College.
We were in the very final stages of producing our semester-long project: an entire magazine designed, edited and written by students. The magazine was called Convergence and it examined the work of the media.
In a story about the disappearance of iconic Canadian news anchors, we created an effect with a pair of anchors fading away (kind of like Marty McFly’s family photograph in Back To The Future) and the headline referred to fading away.
Our teachers didn’t like the headline. They didn’t feel it represented the story properly, so they took it upon themselves to change it at the 11th hour to say “Criticial Shortage”. No, that’s not how you spell critical and no criticial is not a word.
It was too late and thousands of copies of the magazine had been printed by the time anyone caught it.
We, the students, could take solace in the fact that it was our teachers who made the mistake and not us, but try telling that to a potential boss in a job interview.
A quick Google search produces all kinds of hilarious results when it comes to unfortunate and potentially costly typos. A number of them are a little on crude side, as you might imagine, but they are good for a chuckle.
In fact, while I was sitting in the waiting room of my chiropractor’s office a few weeks back, I noticed that a diploma featured the crest of the country’s Chiropractic Association and it was spelled wrong. I joked with him that, similar to a Rolux watch or Guccci shoes, perhaps it wasn’t so much a typo, but rather that he isn’t actually certified as a chiropractor. I think I thought it was funnier than he did.
So, whether you produce diplomas for a chiropractic association or print road signs, no one is immune to the dreaded typo. So, if you’re printing something expensive, double-check. Be like a carpenter who measures twice, but cuts once. Check twice, print once.