Lacking in Correctional Facility

Hello friends!  Good to see you here again.  Various missions and breadwinning enterprises have put off blog entries for a while, but I’d like to share with you some of the recent typo pictures sent in by readers.  No typo corrections, though.  Come on, folks– do I need to show you how it’s done again?  Uh oh.  I’m going to regret saying that, aren’t I?

Typo hunters have been active in various areas of the country.  The first picture that I’d like to share comes to us from Rebecca C.  She found a typo in Cañon City, Colorado, which, interestingly enough, is one of the few American cities to have an eñe in its name.  Even more interestingly, that symbol was added to the name of the city less than twenty years ago in a decision by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.  This is a change from their usual behavior of wiping out as much punctuation as possible in U.S. place names.

Anyway!  Back to the typo itself.  I just get so excited about grammatical asides sometimes.  You’ll have to forgive me.  Rebecca found a common error related to Roman emperors and salads:

How about that!

Meanwhile, in Texas, our regular contributor Karen S. was on the hunt.  It didn’t take her long to discover that Plano fell victim to one of the many instances of the word “convenience” being spelled wrong.  Really, should we just rethink the spelling of this word?  Or perhaps we could just discourage its use.  It’s such a thudding, dull word.  I would love to be told by a sign that something has been provided for my comfort and delight.  For my aid and succor, perhaps.  In this Plano instance, how about simply telling us that lockers have been provided for us?  Then we can decide whether we’d like to use them for our convenience, or whether we’d simply like to jam some stuff in them.

I find myself even more annoyed by the overuse of convenience’s dark twin, inconvenience. How many signs, friends, have told us over the years that they’re “sorry for any inconvenience this may cause”?  In serious situations, it is a hopelessly inadequate word.  If I find a sign like that hanging over a broken toilet, then I’m going to be more than merely inconvenienced, unless there’s an operational stall nearby.  In minor, non-dire situations, the inconvenience doesn’t even need to be mentioned.  You could just say “Snack machine is broken.  Sorry about this.”  That wording would come across as a lot more sincere, wouldn’t you say?

Hey, I like this ranting.  It feels good.  Maybe I’ll do more of it.

Here comes the title track.  Mary B. recently visited a correctional facility in Michigan.  I’m not sure of the circumstances surrounding this visit, but she was keeping an eye out for typos, and she found them.  Oh boy, look at this one!

Double whammy!  They really screwed this up.  One might say, if one were trying to be excessively clever, that the correctional facility lacks the facility for correction.  Wow!  Thanks for the opportunity, Mary B.  Hopefully someone will get this fixed.

And we have two contributions from J.H. in Connecticut.  The first one, coming to us from West Haven, puts me in mind of the restaurant in my hometown that spelled “dining” wrong.  Getting the word “luncheonette” correct if it’s part of your name seems like the most basic step.  Check this out.

So my question is, is this the official name of Nick’s restaurant?  What does it say on the business permits?  If it really is official, then we have to let it go, in the (dubious) interest of creative license.  In that case, I’d wonder about Nick’s judgment.  Is he being subversive, somehow?  But if the name is supposed to be Nick’s Luncheonette, then a swift fix for this is certainly in order.  I’m going to be completely honest with you.  If I saw this sign, I would wonder to myself, “He’s sloppy with his signage, so who’s to say it doesn’t carry over to the food prep?  What if he puts mayo on my girlfriend’s club sandwich even after I asked him not to?  Am I willing to take that chance?

J.H.’s other contribution was found on the go.  We can’t entirely be sure where this typo is, because we would need to know the location of the van on which it occurs.  It’s a roving typo, and we all know those are the worst.

It’s funny, this “memeber”.  I just came across the same typo in a document I was reading at a temporary assignment yesterday.  And I’ve seen it before in remember. I’d probably see it in occurrences of dismember too, if I had the privilege of seeing that word more often in public discourse, that is.

The typos are out there.  You have to help Benjamin and me find them and fix them, folks.  Right now there’s a snowstorm outside my window, but maybe when things thaw out a bit, I’ll have to take a little walk around and try to get some typos fixed.  It would be nice to put the correcting hat back on and see what I could do.

Let’s see, what other news do I have for you?  Next month I’ll be giving a talk at Millersville University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for the Lancaster Literary Guild.  If you’re in town, come on by.  I gave a talk to a regional Mensa gathering a week or two ago and it was great fun; I’ll probably be using a similar program of content.  If you enjoy long conversations about typos and the personal lives of typo hunters, you could check out the audio record of an interview that Benjamin and I did last night via Skype with an internet radio program, “At the Water Cooler with DK.”

Until next time!  Happy March, and happy typo hunting.  Remember that we’ve got your back.  And, of course, always get permission when fixing a typo.  But you knew that part was coming.

Posted in TEAL | 3 Comments

Updated: Here’s You Contest Drawing


See below for our typo of the week.  Oklahoma finally goes yellow!  But first, let’s talk about the winners of our 50 Typos, 50 States prize drawings.  In case you missed the live streaming of the drawings, I’ve included the video below.  (Action starts at 4:45 in)

The winners of our typo corrector grand prize packs:

Carine Ullom (KS typo correction): Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., Great Typo Hunt t-shirt, Typo Correction Kit, Phase 10 deck, signed Will Shortz crossword book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

Melinda Hardwig (AK typo correction): Kodak EasyShare camera, 8 GB memory card, Great Typo Hunt t-shirt, Typo Correction Kit, Phase 10 deck, signed Will Shortz crossword book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

The winners of our typo finder prize packs:

Deborah Kopacz (WI typo find): Great Typo Hunt t-shirt, Typo Correction Kit, Phase 10 deck, signed Will Shortz crossword book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

George Taylor (NC typo find): Great Typo Hunt cap, Typo Correction Kit, Phase 10 deck, signed Will Shortz crossword book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

And then we had a bonus!  Turned out that I had some extra prizes to give out, so I did a few more drawings:

Emily Harper (KY typo correction): Great Typo Hunt t-shirt, Typo Correction Kit, Phase 10 deck, signed Will Shortz crossword book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

Carmel Matricciani (MD typo correction): Great Typo Hunt t-shirt, Typo Correction Kit, Phase 10 deck, signed Will Shortz crossword book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

Linsey Gray (AZ typo find): Typo Correction Kit, Chicago Manual tote bag, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

Tim Abart (NE typo find): Typo Correction Kit, Chicago Manual tote bag, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

Congratulations to all the winners!  I’ll be contacting you to get your mailing addresses, if I don’t have them already.

Now let’s keep the map going, shall we?  There’s a lot of yellow to turn green and even a few reds left to turn yellow.

In that spirit, here’s our find from Michelle H., who was so irked by the redness of Oklahoma on our map that she finally had to turn it yellow.  She found this one in a government office in Norman:

Posted in TEAL | Leave a comment

One Flue Over the Typo Nest

Hello, good people.  Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  How’s your year been going so far?  Have you been keeping your eye out for mistakes?  Do you find that you’re a little braver now about discussing typos with sign owners, or are you still kind of a chicken?  If the latter, don’t worry too much– I still get nervous about those interactions myself.

I think we all have a good deal to learn from each other.  If you have an instructive tale of typo-hunting, whether you were successful or not, please share it at media [at], and let me know if it’s okay to share the story with everyone else.  I’ve already heard so many great stories about ordinary people trying to make an orthographic difference in their neighborhoods, and I’d love to be able to facilitate the sharing of those stories with others.

Valerie A. sent us in a picture from a grocery store in Columbia, Missouri:

For your inoculation against chimneys.

Only one week until the live Great Typo Hunt contest prize drawings via streaming video!  The drawings will take place on Monday, January 23, at 8 pm Eastern time, under the light of the new moon.  They’ll be live on UStream, at this address.  I’ll get a blog entry up on this site early with the video feed embedded, as well.

Posted in TEAL | Leave a comment

Here’s Yor Porn and Beans

Hey, so I’ve got details about the contest drawing below.  Here’s a hint:  it will be live!  Like, in real time!  But first a couple of items of business.

I’d like to note that this one, coming to us from Cheryl R. in Carlisle, Ohio, did make it in time for the contest deadline.

And here’s an Albany contribution from David J, immortalizing a classic combination:


So, now that the contest deadline has passed, we’re preparing for the prize drawings, writing everyone’s name on little pieces of paper to draw from the official hat(s).  The drawings will take place on Monday, January 23, at 8 pm Eastern time–that’s two weeks from now, New Moon Monday!  They’ll be live on UStream, at this address.  I’ll also see if I can get the embedding to work so that you can watch from the comfort of the Great Typo Hunt blog as well.

It’s going to be a real-live event, folks!  Maybe we can drink some champagne together.  Maybe I’ll wear a tie.

Posted in TEAL | Leave a comment

Final Typo Clearlance before Mid-night 2012

Happy New Year, friends and members of the League!  Our contest deadline has passed, but before it did, we received a frenzy of typo submissions, and corrections in particular.  Suddenly the nation (and its northerly neighbor) is a lot greener than we last left it.  Let’s start with that Canadian correction, in fact.  Sean B. took our mission to heart in Calgary, Alberta and made the following correction (the “before” version is going to make your eyes cross):

What an article insertion!  And look how he closely matched the font of the original.  An exemplary fix.

Next, Kevin T. noticed that Utah was looking pretty neglected on our 50 Typos map.  So he began scanning the landscape for typos.  Soon enough he found one in Draper:

It’s all too easy to make create typos when you’re not paying attention.

Regular TEALer Kristine K. was on holiday in Missouri when she discovered the following punctuation goof in St. Louis.  Receiving the bemused go-ahead from the appropriate clerk, she descended swiftly on the offending comma, wiping it right out of the cosmos!

Now I’ve saved a special bounty of typos for last.  They come to us from David Z., who went on the prowl in Elsmere, Delaware and sent along his findings mere hours before the New Year tolled.  I was drinking shipwrecks and champagne mojitos and watching the Delawearean deluge. First off, one of David’s surprisingly numerous electronic finds:

He also had a classic that I’ve spotted before on the opposite coast, among other places, in which the unnecessary apostrophe is deployed:

David’s fishing expedition netted him this find as well.  And the person in charge of sign programming was supposedly off duty at the time.

And this one, a curious combination of theater and leather:

Most uplifting of all, David’s adventures in Delaware included a typo correction.  And on an electronic sign, no less!  For this one, the sign programmer was indeed on duty and willing to help out.

It’s a Christmas miracle!

Now that’s the way to ring in the New Year, with multiple corrections.  The TEAL spirit is alive and well in so many people.  Our contest window is over, but there’s still much to be done with filling in the typo map– many states without a correction, and even four left without so much as a find.  We’ll still be doing entries to reflect the progress of the map, so we encourage you to continue sending your typo pictures to typo [at]  Make your state proud and green.

As for the contest itself, soon we will be announcing the winners of our prize packs via a video of the prize drawing!  Two winners from the typo find pool, and two from the typo correction pool.  Who will win all that hot stuff, including the 16th ed. Chicago Manual and books signed by Will Shortz?  Stay tuned to find out.

Posted in TEAL | Leave a comment

Lucnh Entree’s Availible

When last we left it, the map showed only eight red states.  Today, more will fall.  It’s the final week of our 50 Typos In 50 States Contest, and though things have been slowing down with the holidays…it’s not over yet.

We’ll begin in Great Falls, Montana, where Barry L. has found this:

The inconsistency in suddenly switching to a lower case letter mid-word almost pulled my eye away from the vowel trouble on the same line. *Sigh*

Next door (that’s a very relative term), in Minot, North Dakota, Sarah A. spied the most common of errors:

North Dakota had been one of our eight remaining red states. Now it’s yellow, and there are only seven left!

Now for some spelling mistakes that are almost Freudian in their ability to call something else to mind.

First, Kate D. in Los Angeles, California offers proof that LA really has all lost control:

Classic careless error…I hope. (Incidentally, the word misspelled in Great Falls is correct in this one.)

Meanwhile, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, John R. has found a sign that’s potentially too honest:

Man, we are hitting all the classics today: vowel trouble, apostrophe error, classic missing letter typo, and junction trouble. What else was there? Oh, in the category of true typos, how about a transposition?

Martha B. supplies this one from Columbia, South Carolina:

Another state goes yellow!

From North Dakota to South Carolina, we are still changing states’ colors on the map.
Keep in mind, you still have the rest of 2011 to deliver us a typo find &/or correction (by permission, of course) to be entered into our prize drawing. If your state’s yellow or even green already, you are still eligible. Though, if you’re in one of the many yellow states, we could sure use more green states, and if you’re in one of the six remaining red states, we’d love to convert the whole map to yellow at least.

If you live in Alabama, Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, Utah, or Wyoming, show some state pride–don’t let your state be subject to public ridicule at not having been able to find a single typo.

Posted in TEAL | Leave a comment

Everyone Are So Accomodating

We’ll start by turning New Mexico yellow.  This is actually a bigger deal than just changing the color of one state, however. Last week, we turned our tenth state green…and had only ten red states remaining. This is the moment when we have more states with corrections than we have non-participating states. Friends, by working together, we are defeating the typos! For the official contest you still have less than two full weeks, but we’re going to continue attacking this map until we turn it all yellow and green…and then completely green.

For right now, however, let’s take a look at Trina W.’s find from the Carlsbad Caverns that will turn New Mexico yellow, putting us in the single digits for remaining red states.

Classic! When we were on tour, a New Hampshire teacher pointed out that she’d seen this word misspelled so much that she felt compelled to ask us to spell it.

David H., who found our Vermont typo, is back with a couple more, one from Occupy Philadelphia and one from Ocean City, New Jersey:

Don’t be fooled by the hint of a correction that had already been applied to the one on the left–there’s more. Nor should you be fooled by the sign that gets things right in New Jersey because…let’s just say there’s a consistency problem.

Also found in New Jersey, on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, is this awkwardly worded (and disagreeing) sign spotted by Michael Kostroff:

(And yes, being on an immensely popular television show like The Wire means I won’t bother hiding your last name.)

Finally, Wisconsin didn’t want to be left out in the cold in our 50 Typos In 50 States contest, so both Deborah K. and Dean K. (different last names) sent in finds to get Wisconsin off the short list of remaining red states. Deborah’s (left) is from Horicon, and Dean’s (right) is from South Milwaukee.

Which leaves us with only eight remaining red states, so few that I feel like naming them to direct everyone to them. If you have friends in those states, let them know the mission is on and they still have time to rescue their state from infamy as Trina, Deborah, and Dean have done today!
The eight red states are: Alabama, Delaware, Iowa (There’s gotta be a misspelled campaign sign or something!), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina (where’s Stephen Colbert when you really need him?), and the only remaining adjacent red states: Utah and Wyoming!

Plus, sadly we’ve broken our streak of states going green every week, but there’s still time to turn more green for the contest. Remember: there’s two prize packs going to those who’ve corrected typos, so your odds are WAY better if you get a correction (just make sure to ask permission!). Typos can be sent to

Posted in TEAL | Leave a comment

Gods Spaghatti For Desert

Thank you, heroes! It had looked like we were getting low on typos sent in to us, but more typos are coming in now. More typos finds, and…well, you’ll have to read on.  Quick reminder: you have just these last 20 days to snag a typo and get it to us to be entered into the contest…

Now, onto the FOOD FIGHT!

Um, I mean, here are a couple of food related typos.
The first comes to us from Christine A., who spotted a classic mistake at Disney World.

I know there’s a lot to look at, but the mistake’s one of the bigger, bold words. Look up. You’ll see it.

Next, a not so classic mistake courtesy of George T. He found this one in Kernersville, North Carolina.

I understand that it’s not a common word, but…ouch. That hurts my heart.

Continuing north, here’s one from Waltham, Massachusetts found by Aaron L.

This one will either leap out at you or…not.  My eyes went right past it at first.  And no, it’s not the fact that this sign feels the need to tell you to pay with “coins & bills.”

Speaking of parking signs, let’s not do all our typo-spotting on the East Coast. Over in Fall City, Washington, Karen S. snapped this humdinger:

Okay, clearly the uncertainty has inspired the sign-maker to try using an apostrophe in one case but not the other, figuring the sign will be at least half-right. Unfortunately, that theory, much like the sign itself, is completely wrong.

But the wyrdness is not over yet, sisters.

Karen C. has found this in Dripping Springs, Texas:

What the… WHAT?  Okay.  You know what? My reply is: That’s nice. I’m glad you finally found acceptance. I’m leaving now.

At least Texas is yellow now.

And Tennessee is green! Tim N. fixed this typo from Nashville, and he did it for the children.

Whew! Thank God that got corrected. Actually, thank Tim!

And we’d like to thank you for all the typos you’ve found and corrected and sent along. This contest is still going strong, and you’ve got short of three weeks to get yourself entered to win a prize pack! Happy hunting!

Posted in TEAL | Leave a comment

G’r'e’t'as’ Many Misplaced Apostrophes”!’

For the 7th consecutive week, we are turning a state green!  (Whoops–spoiler alert?)

Before I get to Greta M., let’s start with a typo that seems to be set in wood.  Betty W. found this atrocity at Yellowstate National Park in Montana:

Seeing as we’ve found this typo in a national park, this seems like a great time to remind you to always ask permission before you attempt to correct a typo. (Though, even with permission, that one would have been tough.)

The other reason I felt like sharing that is that I thought a spelling mistake might be nice before we launch into a study of apostrophe failure. Greta M. seems to have made it her mission to catalog all manner of misplaced apostrophes (there’s even one where the apostrophe’s right, but the S…you’ll see). Let’s start with the one she found in Nashville, Tennessee, which will now go yellow.

Okay, now that you’ve had a sample, here’s the full serving (feast your eyes at your own peril), which Greta M. collected from Indianapolis, Indiana:

Whoa. That was a four-star disaster, and it’s not even over yet.

Greta M. comes by her typo spying skills honestly, for her mother also found a typo in Indianapolis, a classic spelling mix-up, and where Greta turned the state yellow, her mom has turned it green. Voila!

Mmm…I love peanut brittle, especially when it’s spelled correctly! Nice work, Greta’s mom!

Seven consecutive weeks with corrections, but while I’ve still got more finds to catch up on posting about, I may well be out of corrections… I’m depending on you to keep turning that map green!

Posted in TEAL | 4 Comments

Good Gord…

Typo hunters across the nation continue to find some cringe-inducing examples of grammatical folly. Read on at your own peril!

We’ll begin with a couple more finds from Florida. Scott K. at Disney World and Paula K. (different Ks) in Tallahassee found these spelling mistakes, respectively.

Oh, what a difference a letter makes. And on the right, don’t worry about “Kidz” since (I’m assuming) that’s the name of the organization, which falls under poetic license, but just beyond that there’s an extreme example of the all too common double-letter confusion.

Florida had already turned yellow, so there’s no change to the map there. Vermont, however, sits as a lone Northeastern red state, and its time has come. David H. found this one in the south-central area of the state:

Whoa. Set aside the spelling mistake for a moment and marvel: it’s not just plural; it’s been raised to the S power. As Strong Bad once said, “Your Head A Splode.” At least Vermont can go yellow, though.

While we’re in the area, we also got another find from Oxford, Connecticut thanks to Paul F.’s eagle eye. What could be more common than spelling mistakes?

Yeah, that. Oh, but think of the children!

Finally, we turn to Kansas, another already yellow state, where Carrie U. has been hard at work. Here’s a rather absurd way for an apostrophe to go wrong, found in Ottawa:

Carrie also found a spell-it-like-it-sounds disaster in Ottawa, but for this one is no longer, for she got the fix, turning Kansas green!

Hurrah! Every entry in November continued the streak of a new green state each week! I haven’t seen yet if we’ve had any more come in. Please, if you can get a typo fix (by permission, of course), send it along. We don’t want to lose this momentum. December, by the way, will be the final month for sending in typos and corrections so that they’ll be eligible for the contest (though we shall continue our efforts to turn the whole map green into 2012).

Posted in TEAL | Leave a comment