worst proofreading mistakes

We all make mistakes. It’s just human to not get everything right, all the time. As we will discuss in our upcoming series, The Power of Proofreading, proofreading and editing are vital for ensuring that mistakes are caught before they become public. When they don’t get caught, hilarity (and more often trouble) can ensue. We’ve compiled a list of the ten worst (humorous) proofreading mistakes of all time.

Thou Shalt Commit Adultery?

A 1631 version of the King James Bible became known as the “Wicked Bible” because the word “not” in this commandment was left out.

Women’s World Seeking Editting Help

We’d like to believe that the person who placed Woman’s World’s ad used it as a test for candidates’ editing skills, but we’re not sure misspellings of the publication’s name and other words was the right way to go.

Exreme Tradgedy Tattoos

These examples of misspelled tattoos from the Huffington Post are some of the reasons we prefer pretty butterflies or freaky dragons to word tattoos!

University of Wisconson, Class of ’88

Graduates from UW–Madison in 1988 got two diplomas—one from Wisconson and another six months later from Wisconsin. We can just imagine those six months: “Honestly, Boss, it’s real!”

Air Canada’s X-Rated Bag Tags

As a great example of spelling errors your spell-check won’t catch, Air Canada’s luggage tags in 2005 let customers know that their bags had “been x-rated at point of origin.”

Freshly Ground Black People

Even the big guys make mistakes; Penguin published a cookbook titled the Pasta Bible in which one recipe called for salt and freshly ground black people.

“To Be or To Be”

We’re not even sure how this error is possible, but one edition of Hamlet dropped the “not” out of Shakespeare’s famous line.

Huge D?ck for Entertaining

A Realtor wanting to emphasize her customer’s backyard deck accidentally advertised one of his body parts instead by replacing the “e” in deck with an “i.”

The Solider Soldier

A Yeats poem described Aristotle as “solider”—meaning firm and stable. A well-intentioned printer switched it to “soldier” and changed the meaning of the sentence completely, until the fixed version in 1947.

FDR in Bed with Coed

The Washington Post meant to say that FDR was in bed with a COLD. Roosevelt requested one hundred copies but ended up with none, as the newspaper destroyed them all.

2 thoughts on “The Worst Proofreading Mistakes of All Time

  1. Ethan W. says:

    FDR in Bed with Coed I believe that FDR requested 100 coeds not copies

  2. Suma Narayan says:


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