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Typos: a chuckle or irritant?

As a long-time writer and editor, I am horrified by common abuses of the English language and punctuation, like the far-too-common error of spelling the possessive form of “its” with an apostrophe. Yet, I also find great humor in unintentional typos or mistranslations, especially when travelling. Here are some of my favorites from menus and signs in India and Nepal:


child beer (rather than “chilled”)

biled potatoes (rather than “boiled”)

Please don’t pluck the flowers

You look good from hotel view


Some quaint terms posted on the Internet include these foreign gems:




                                                    (Apology to photographers: no photo credits provided)

However, you don’t have to travel to another country to find such groaners. At an apartment complex in Vancouver, BC, I saw a notice advising residents to go to “the area of refuse” in case of a fire. For years, Jay Leno has offered outrageous headline bloopers, sent in by people across North America.

Do you have any favorites? Please share them.

July 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm
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