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Peter Pan at the Mint?

Typos are wondrous things. No matter how hard I work, the sneaky things always manage to appear just when I think I have the problem licked.

As an editor, I have dealt with typos for 37 years.

My readers let me know when something has slipped through and appears in the pages of Numismatic News, or Numismatic News Express.

It is an amusing coincidence that during the week I am working on a feature by Neil Shafer pointing out typos and other kinds of errors on paper money that I happened to spot one on the home page of the U.S. Mint.

My eye was drawn to an image of the obverse of a 1928 Hawaii commemorative half dollar.

It is an historic issue of the Mint, not a current one, so naturally I was curious as to why it appeared in that spot.

I read the text.

“Discovering Hawaii” was the headline over the photograph.

Beneath it appeared the words, “Learn more about the coin design that includes a portrait of Captain James Hook.”

Capt. Hook is a Peter Pan reference.

Capt. James Cook was a British explorer who died on a Hawaiian beach in 1779 and is the person depicted on the half dollar.

Naturally I laughed.

Then I sympathized with the editor that wrote and posted it.

It is the kind of typo that spell check will not catch.

It is not nonsensical.

It is just amusingly wrong.

I expect the error will be caught and corrected, perhaps even before I post this blog about it.

But I saw it and a few others may have done so as well.

My favorite personal typo happened when I laid out the front page of Bank Note Reporter years ago.

I had a story on it about the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s paper money printing plant in Fort Worth, Texas.

In the headline I wrote, “Forth Worth.”

I was mortified when I read what I had done on a freshly printed copy of the paper.

However, not a single reader ever called me on it.

Whether I got away with it or not, I will never be sure.

But it is a memory that helps me keep up my vigilance against typos and serves as a reminder that I will never catch them all.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."