The spell check function on the computer is a wonderful thing. But it does have its limits.
A recent example of this was pointed out to me by a reader email that arrived yesterday.
In a story about a possible future Mark Twain commemorative program that appeared in an issue of Numismatic News, our article helpfully attempted to point out that the author’s actual name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
In the process what actually appeared in print was Samuel "Longhorn" Clemens.
That is a whoops moment, isn’t it?
The reader found it funny and wrote the following email:
“I gist red yor artikle wear yu tel sum1 that yur a magzeen editer. Then I reed the Mark Twain artikle where Mr. Twane was not hiz reel name. He wuz frum Cannibal, TX and wuz a “Longhorn” and heer all thiz time I thot he was a “Langhorne.” Funy how that can git confuzed! Jist wut dew thay teach these kids nowadazes?!.: (or wutevur gose at that ther end, or takle, gard, fulback, bearback, humpback, or wutevur.)
“Yur best bud,
“P.S. Seriously, Samuel Langhorne Clemens must be rolling over with laughter at that blunder. David Ganz, seriously?”
With helpful readers like Doug Jennings, I certainly won’t make that mistake again.
Typos are the bane of any editor’s existence and in almost 35 years sitting here, I have had my share.
My most memorable typo appeared on the front page of Krause Publications’ monthly Bank Note Reporter. In a headline about the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Texas plant, I managed to spell Fort Worth as “Forth” Worth.
Not a single reader caught it and reported it to me. Nobody on staff pointed it out. I got off scot-free, but now you know.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."