oops . . .


Photograph by Jelleke Vanooteghem of Unsplash

Photograph by Jelleke Vanooteghem of Unsplash

I found an interesting article a few weeks ago on typos. Just a typo, we say, no big deal. So typos are no big deal . . . except when they are a big deal. How about some of these?

1. Big Bargain on Japanese Company Stock.  In 2005, the Japanese company Mizuho Securities Company made an innocent typo. They listed 610,000 shares of stock for one yen each, rather than one share for 610,000 yen.  Unfortunately, the Tokyo Stock Exchange doesn't take do-overs. The company lost $225 million.

2. What Kind of Vacation??  In 1988, Banner Travel Services, in California, placed an ad in the Yellow Pages intending to promote an "exotic" destination. Yep, you guessed it – it was listed as an "erotic" destination. Lots of young people inquired.

3. Out of Business After 124 Years. In the UK, there were two companies with similar names: "Taylor & Sons" and "Taylor & Son."  The former was a prosperous engineering firm. The latter was going out of business. The UK bureau that keeps information about businesses, Companies House, listed the wrong one as having closed in 2009. Due to the confusion, customers stopped coming to the engineering firm, and it closed its doors in 2014, after 124 years in business. (Yes, they sued Companies House and won the equivalent of $11.5 million.)

4. If You Can't Spell, How about Looking at a Dictionary?  In the fall of 2018, Australia printed 46 million bank notes and misspelled "responsibility," leaving out the last "i."  The word was in a quotation from a speech in 1921 by the country's first female member of parliament. The bank said it would fix the typo next time around, but 46 million bills will be around for a long, long time. At least it didn't cause any disasters.

As they say. . . mind your "Ps and Qs."  (And your "As," "Bs," "Cs," etc.)