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Top Ten Funniest Proofreading Mistakes


Given that I work for HotDocs Corporation, a software company that enables organizations to eliminate proofreading mistakes by automating the generation of complex legal documentation, I decided to compile my own top-ten list of funny proofreading screw-ups.

10. Crap Yourself in a Blanket

Lots of us never outgrow adolescence. Otherwise Adam Sandler would be out of a job and the Kmart commercial,"ship my pants," would not be a viral internet sensation. With that in mind, it’s my inner boy that gets this newspaper article into the 10-spot on my list. (Any chance the author meant "wrap" instead of "crap"?)

9. Missouri State Can’t Spell University

The ironic part about this next proofreading mistake is that it was made by an institution of higher learning. I feel sorry for the person responsible for this one. The university obviously dropped a bundle on misprinted bags for the book store. Worse still, this image has been posted and reposted on the internet, memorializing the error.

8. Unintended Meanings

Okay, so this next one isn’t a proofreading mistake, but it’s still funny.

unintended meanings.jpg

7. Friday’s Special: Chicken Diapers

For my number 7 worst proofreading mistake, I need to refer back to number 10—more semi-scatological humor. Will I ever grow up?

Chicken Diapers.jpg

6. President Obama Misspells Ohio

For number 6, I’m going to pick on President Obama. (Please ignore the guy with the perspiration problem. We have all been there before so don’t judge him.) The president is among a group that is attempting to spell Ohio. (Note that Ohio voters obviously didn’t hold this blunder against him.)

5. Therapist or the Rapist?

My number 5 proofreading mistake may have come in higher on my list, except that it didn’t quite make it into print. Still, it illustrates how a tiny mistake could cause a drastic change of meaning.

4. Thirteen Equals 12

I once saw a person wearing a Chicago Bulls hat with an Atlanta Braves logo on it. It was the wrong team logo and not even the right sport. For number 4, I’ve chosen a similar kind of proofreading mistake.

3. Chile’s Coin de Chiie

For number 3, I’ve chosen what is probably the most expensive proofreading mistake of all time (had they tried to fix it, anyway), not to mention a pretty embarrassing one. From what I understand, this coin was in circulation for several months before anyone noticed the problem, and by that time, it was just too costly to take them out of circulation.

2. “Thou Shalt Commit . . .”

Number 2 on my list is actually my favorite proofreading mistake and is arguably the worst one of all time. Below is an image of a 1631 printing of the Bible, which Wikipedia refers to as the“Wicked Bible."Check out verse 14.

1. HotDocs

Given that I work for HotDocs Corporation, this last typo had to come in at number 1. HotDocs is a global software brand, celebrating its 20th anniversary in the year 2013. But the event organizer of one of the world’s largest technology expos recently made a gigantic proofreading error in approximately 15,000 program guides and various other types of collateral. Note that they managed to mangle our brand in the only way possible to make it sound like street slang.

As I mentioned above,HotDocs document generation softwarehelps you eliminate typos and other sorts of proofreading errors by allowing you to automate the generation of complex legal documentation. One way to avoid ending up on the worst-proofreading-mistakes list is to deploy HotDocs throughout your organization!

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