3 Things We Can All Learn From 1 Big Typo

TYPOWe’ve all done it.

We’ve hit “send” on that email or we’ve hit “publish” on that post or “print” on that card or document without realizing the glaring typo smack in the middle of it.

It happens to everyone. It happens far to often to myself.

Several months ago, I was on a Delta flight and looking through Sky magazine and found this (the circled repeating “fors”) gem of a typo…

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Can you imagine what the person feels like that wrote that… and the countless other people that were proofreading it? They are probably hiding somewhere as we speak. That doesn’t mean, though, that it can’t teach us a little something along the way. After all, the best way to learn is from someone ELSE’S mistake. Here are a few things we can take away from this really public typo…

Everyone Makes Mistakes

– Sure, we shouldn’t want to, but everyone messes up. In this case, it was probably a number of people that missed it, but it happens.

– Whatever you’ve messed up on, rest easy, we all do it.


– Not saying no one read over this, but we don’t always reread what we write. Before hitting send on that email (or blog comment), reread it. Be sure it says what you want it to say in the way you want it said.

– Check your design work a few times too. Is everything aligned correctly? Be sure it looks like the work you want.

Remove Distractions

– When we’re doing something that is going to be seen by others or read by others, do your best to remove stuff that will distract you. Many times, the mistakes I make are because I’ve been distracted while I was doing it or I tried to multi-task. If it’s important enough for others to see, it’s important enough to get your undivided attention.

What else can you help us learn about typos or proofreading?


  1. Jonathan, great post, and very, very true. As a college professor, it is sometimes really discouraging to see how little attention is paid to correct spelling and grammar.

    The nice thing about digital media is that you can usually go back and correct things quickly.

    I just discovered your blog and subscribed – looking forward to getting your posts!

  2. All great points! Anytime I publish a blog post or an email, I read through it a few times, but I should getting into that habit with texting as well. We all want texting to be so quick, but it’s important read over those too and confirm clarity.


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