A few weeks ago, I wrote about the most common typos in blog posts. Commenters kindly added their own favourites to the list.

Is it me, or are typos becoming more plentiful in mainstream media? Where have all the copy editors gone? Yesterday, I spotted “hair dying” in the CBC Web site. This morning the Globe and Mail served up this blooper: “One-fifth of us eat from a palate of 10 or fewer foods.”

Try dye and palette. [At least they got fewer right.]

What typos have you spotted today? Please don’t mention any you’ve seen in my blog. 😉


  1. Am I just being a snob when I expect educated people to know a few common words and phrases that are actually foreign? At a recent Town Council meeting, I was stunned when the principal of a local high school did not know the term “in camera.” He just stared blankly at me. Did he visualize the councillors squeezed into a Brownie box? And how can writers not know that “en masse” is not spelled “on mass?” It actually causes me pain when I see things like this. I have to breathe and chant my mantra, “That’s why people hire you to edit!”

  2. You are not a snob, Gloria. Yikes, you would think a school principal would know the term “in camera.” I think we learned that in grade 5.

    How about when people don’t know the words in their OWN profession? When I had to have some legal matters taken care of, I was shocked (and slightly amused) when the law clerk referrd to an “after David.” She meant “affidavit.” I am not making this up.

  3. Mispronunciations are as common as misspellings. But that’s only normal. America’s Funniest Home Videos recently played a tape of people having great difficulty pronouncing “gift certificate.” Of course, the people were four to six years old.

  4. I like your post, Jon. You know what? I visited your blog for the first time earlier today. Good stuff.

    I too hate seeing THAT instead of WHO. My other bugaboos: COMPRISED OF or VERY UNIQUE. AAAAARRGHHHHHHH.

  5. What’s worse is when the one person in the room who gets it right is villified by all the other dummies. Who can forget the poor Washington, DC official who described the city council as “niggardly”?

  6. Aha, Allan, but this is a pure typo — vilify with a double l. Sometimes I think we give someone the benefit of the doubt, when they truly do not know the difference bewteen lie and lay or affect and effect. Their errors are not typos.

  7. A couple I passed along to David Jones recently: placing “back in” before any year prior to the current one. For example: “back in 2005” or “back in 1968”. Eliminate the “in” and you have the same meaning. The other drives me nuts: mixing up “amount” and “number.” As in, “There was a large amount of guests at the event.” Wrong! And, while I’m at it: creeping Americanisms such as: going to prom. Used to be known as the prom because the article serves a purpose.


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