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Funny typos highlight need for proofreading

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
15 November 2018 1 minute readShare
Erasing a mistake

Typographical, spelling and grammatical errors can have unintended consequences as these examples demonstrate, making it important to double-check all business communications prior to publishing.

Innocently leaving off a comma or apostrophe can give a written statement an entirely new, and often less desirable, meaning. Misspelling a word can also have the same unintended consequence.

A meme currently doing the rounds by email, whose origin and authenticity is unknown, demonstrates some of the ways that simple errors can make for amusing or even embarrassing situations for the relevant business.

It could be a spelling mistake or the wording order that presents an unintended interpretation – a situation that airline Cathay Pacific recently discovered when a simple typo in its logo forced it to repaint one of its planes.

(The airline took the blunder in stride on social media and made light of the situation, which generated plenty of positive comments from customers pleased to see it has a sense of humour).

And sometimes there may be no mistake in the words used at all, but the level of situational awareness (or lack thereof) that delivers an unintended meaning.

Have a read of the examples below and then share your own – either in the comments section or by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – where a simple wording mistake gave you a laugh or caused you to raise an eyebrow!

In an office tower:

Toilet out of order please use floor below

In a laundromat:

Automatic washing machines: Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out

In a department store:

Bargain basement upstairs

In an office:

Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken

In an office:

After tea break staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board

Outside a second-hand shop:

We exchange anything – bicycles, washing machines, etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain?

Notice in health food shop window:

Closed due to illness

Spotted in a safari park:

Elephants please stay in your car

Seen during a conference:

For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the 1st floor

Message on a leaflet:

If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons

On a repair shop door:

We can repair anything. (Please knock hard – the bell doesn’t work)


Funny typos highlight need for proofreading
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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