Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Spelling is a snap
Students in my editing classes may submit errors that they find in the print media and get extra credit. I encourage such finds in newspapers, magazines and books. I accept other professionally produced writing, however.

Today, someone brought in a spelling mistake. That's typical. The place where the error appeared was not: on a Snapple bottle cap. The cap reads as follows:

Real Fact #127

A humminbird's heart beats 1,400 times a minute.

Get all the "Real Facts" at

The missing "g" is there on the Web version. I suppose it's less expensive to fix that than to recall thousands of bottle caps.
posted by Andy Bechtel at 9:21 AM | Permalink |


  • At 12:58 PM, Blogger Ninja Of The Mundane

    Wow. That's up there with the classic "Seinfeld" typo — "Moops" instead of "Moors," as misprinted on a Trivial Pursuit card.

    I just finished an otherwise excellent true-crime book by a first-time author that consistently used "breech" in which "breach" was intended. I've been corresponding with the writer for a while, as part of my own interest in writing true crime, and found very quickly that she just didn't want to hear about it.

    Finding errors is good. Showing them to people takes all the delicate subtlety of defusing a bomb in a James Bond movie.

    Jim Thomsen

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Andy Bechtel

    As John McIntyre would say, one of the qualities of a good copy editor is tact.

  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Can you imagine being the copy editor who didn't catch the "humminbird" mistake? I wonder what the fallout was. And I wonder how long it took him or her to come back to the land of the living.

  • At 2:53 PM, Blogger Jacob

    Post a picture!

  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger Andy Bechtel

    I gave the cap back to the student. I'm not sure it would have scanned very well.

  • At 10:29 PM, Blogger rknil

    A"CE"S fiddlers' tact: sitting on their hands while newspapers dismantle copy desks.