List O’ Ten Typos That Made A Difference

top ten list list of top ten high impact typosNo problem or big problem? Everybody makes mistakes typing – the infamous “typo”. Sometimes the autocorrect just makes it worse (don’t you just hate it when you miss that and the wrong word gets put in !?) – but sometimes it just goes unnoticed completely.

It can be just plain embarrassing, or it can have serious consequences – like these examples…

Spell Check Please!

10. Washington Nationals

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In November 2009, two members of the Washington Nationals – Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman – took to the field without noticing their team name was misspelled on their jerseys. Apparently, it took them until the third inning to realize they were experiencing their own version of a wardrobe malfunction. This typo didnt result in anything more than a little embarrassment (and with a 10-19 record that season, there are bigger things to be embarrassed about). Majestic Athletic, the rights holder for uniforms for all 30 Major League teams, took the blame and issued an apology.

9. West Virginia Basketball

top ten list-top ten high impact typos-West Virgina basketball shirt typo

In 2007 the West Virginia Men’s basketball team won the national invitational tournament. However, the commemorative championship t-shirts the players were wearing weren’t championship worthy. Instead of saying “West Virginia” it said “West Virgina”. All in all, could have been worse…

8. LOL – aka Stupid – Tattoo Typos

There are simply too many to isolate just one – this could be post all on its own – but imagine the lifetime of embarassment all because of one dumb-ass tattoo artist who is too stupid to spell. Stick to images! Here is a small sampling of the Rogues Gallery of Tattoo Typos:

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$$ These Typos Proved To Be Costly:

7. DSC Communications

top ten list-top ten high impact typos-phone outage

In 1991, a single mistyped character in a line of computer code left 12 million people without telephone service. DSC Communications and Bell Systems confirmed that massive outages on the East Coast and West Coast could be traced back to the one, tiny error: in millions of lines of code, a “6″ was typed in place of a “D” in software that helps set up phone calls. The typo was contained in a “patch” that was supposed to fix an earlier problem, but in this case, it seems as if the fix was worse than the problem.

6. Scratch Tickets

top ten list-top ten high impact typos-Roswell scratch ticket typo

Everyone’s a winner after a direct-mail marketing company mistakenly sent out 50,000 scratch-off tickets to residents – all of them declaring the ticket-holder the $1,000 grand prize winner.

Just one of the tickets was supposed to be the grand prize winner.

A typographical error by Atlanta-based Force Events Direct Marketing, which printed the advertisement, had given all 50,000 scratch-off tickets grand prizes.

In July 2007 A Roswell, New Mexico-based car dealership sent out 50,000 scratch-off ads each as $1000.00 winners. Touting a grand prize of $1,000 (which was to be 1 in 50,000), these cards were incorrectly printed by an Atlanta-based Force Events Direct Marketing Co. The result was 50,000 crazed locals who thought they had each won the grand prize, calling the dealership to cash-in. Realizing that a $50,000,000 pay-off was neither intended or realistic, Force Events held a $5,000 drawing for anyone with a ticket, in an attempt to quell the immediate dissatisfaction of the townspeople, as well as a series of 20 other drawings each with a $1,000 prize.

5. Yellow Pages

top ten list top ten high impact typos-erotic travel

Pacific Bell Yellow Pages carried an ad for Banner Travel Service, in Sonoma, California. The firm, which specializes in “exotic” travel, suddenly found itself specializing in “erotic” travel, due to a tiny typo. This not only resulted in unwelcome ridicule but also a substantial drop in business, as former clients stayed away. Pacific Bell waived its $230 monthly fee, but that did not prevent the initiation of a $10 million lawsuit.

4. Goldman Sachs

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According to the Economist, on February 11th 2011, the bank issued four warrants tied to the index “which were described in three separate filings amounting to several hundred pages.” Inside those several hundred pages, was a formula that determined the settlement price of the warrant.

The formula read: (Closing Level Strike Level) x Index Currency Amount x Exchange Rate

It was supposed read: (Closing Level Strike Level) x Index Currency Amount / Exchange Rate

And that little bit of mathematical error makes all the difference – Goldman lawyers alerted the exchange to the mistake on March 31 and according to the Economist, the notes have been frozen ever since.

Now, Goldman has offered “to buy back the warrants from holders for a 10% premium on their purchase price, plus a fixed payment to cover broker fees.” They say they’re covered by their prospectus, which actually has a specific clause about dealing with such errors. The 124 warrant holders obviously want Goldman to honor the formula which was sent out – a formula that would entitle holders to a pool worth about $45 million (HK$350m), instead of the $1.3 million Goldman is offering. Ouch.

3. Japan Stock

top ten list top ten high impact typos-nikkei stock trade mistake typo

In 2005, a typo by a Japanese stock trader cost one investment bank $224 million. The broker meant to sell 1 share of J-Com at 610,000 yen ($7156 USD), not 610,000 shares at 1 yen each.

A typing error caused Mizuho Securities Co. to lose at least 27 billion yen ($225 million) on a stock trade. The trouble began when Mizuho Securities one of Japan’s largest trading firms wanted to sell one share of J-Com Co a job recruiting firm for 610,000 Yen ($ 5,041). However an employee entered the order to sell 610,000 shares for 1 Yen each. The error rolled through the Japanese market and fueled jitters over the reliability of the exchanges trading system, contributing to a walloping 1.95 percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei 225 index that day. For Mizuho Securities, the news was even worse. Mizuho Financial Group said it would fully back its security arms losses from erroneous trades of J-Com. But the red ink could wipe out Mizuho Securities profit of 28 billion yen ($233 million) for the entire fiscal first quarter.

2 The Wicked Bible

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It occurred in London, in 1632, with the printing of Baker’s edition of the Bible, known ever since as the “Wicked Bible”, when readers noticed a very important not had been missing from Exodus 20:14. The Seventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” appeared in a revised version, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Woo-hoo!

While this typo no doubt made a number of people in England very happy, their happiness was short-lived. When the mistake was discovered, Parliament ordered all obtainable editions destroyed, fined the printer 3000 pounds ( a lot of money at the time!), and forbade all unauthorized printings of the Bible henceforth. Today, 11 copies are known to exist.

1. Google

top ten list-top ten high impact typos-googol to google

In 1997 Larry Page and his friend Sean Anderson( who now works at Microsoft) were in his office brainstorming names for a website where immense amounts of data would be indexed. Sean suggested googolplex, and Larry shortened it to googol. Sean immediately ran a domain name search but, despite being a genius he was apparently not the best speller, and he accidentally he typed in google, which was available. Larry liked the name, and within hours he took the step of registering for himself and Sergey Brin. The rest is history.

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