Can you spot the the typo?

You’ve probably heard about how easy it is to miss a repeated word when it appears at the end of a line and the beginning of the next line. For example:

“Wow,” he said. “I had no idea how easy it is to miss a word when it appears at the
the end of a line and also at the beginning of the next line!”

When you’re reading quickly, your mind just absorbs the repetition as a way of maintaining the continuity of what you’re reading.

I’d like to think that’s what happened with the ad shown below, which ran on the back cover of a magazine. (I blurred out the name of the race.) This might just be the most egregious editing mistake I’ve ever seen make it to print. And since I’ve been in the editing biz for a long time, that’s really saying something.

Got any better—uh, I mean, worse examples? Send ’em in to the blog.

Then again, maybe the copywriter really, REALLY likes the 1980s song "This Is the Day."

7 thoughts on “Can you spot the the typo?

  1. The only one I can think of that’s worse/better happened long, long ago when Kim Mohan was still editor of Dragon Magazine. An ad on the back cover began with the word “DESTRUCTION” in enormous type–I want to say it was at least 24 point, perhaps 36.

    And I should say it was *supposed* to read DESTRUCTION. The R was missing. No one caught it, not even Kim. The issue went out with “DESTUCTION” on the back cover. I now refer to that type of error as a 36-point typo. One would think that when it’s that big–literally–someone would see it. Not so. Our brains fix the error and we see what we expect to see.

    One trick I learned for bypassing our own autocorrect is to read each page backward, from bottom right to upper left. It forces the brain to process single words, instead of groups of them. I have Jon Pickens to thank for that suggestion.


    1. The same thing happened with Mongoose’s “Ultimate” series. The first printing of one of the books, I believe it was Ultimate Equipment, was missing the “L” in the title on the spine. So I own a copy of the “Utimate” Equipment guide. Once I noticed it (while alphabetizing my bookshelf) our gaming group referred to the whole series with that term from that point on.


      1. Have you read one of those paragraphs where all the letters in each word is scrambled, only the first and last letter are correct? It is amazingly easy it is to read those. You’re fighting the brain’s closure ability.


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