Death, taxes, and typos: the editing blog

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Typos happen. They’re always going to happen. But, in some instances, they just shouldn’t happen.

The most obvious of these typo no fly zones are medical instructions and legal documents. Typos in those circumstances have led to product recalls (see and lawsuits (see

Teams of lawyers and medical professionals spend hours editing documents and correcting inaccuracies to avoid financial and safety downfalls. And, for the most part, they’re successful. The links I posted above are interesting for many reasons –mostly because they’re rare.

Medical instructions and legal documents, however, rarely see the light of day, aka the public’s eye. They’re either tightly wound and folded within a jar of Tylenol, or stuffed away in a law office.

But what happens when your favorite baseball team spells it’s own name wrong on the most visible part of its identity, its jersey? That’s exactly what happened in 2007, when the Washington Nationals, a Major League Baseball team in the National League East, had two of its best players sporting jerseys with the word “Natinals” etched across the chest.  

There's still a bounty out on the missing "O" 

One would think the Nationals, a team notorious for its poor performance on the field, could have at least counted on the jersey manufacturing company to cut it some slack and get the team’s name right. Only in a perfect world.   

The company, Majestic Athletic, issued a full apology. They admitted to not taking time to edit the mistake.

While the mistake probably didn’t send anyone to the hospital (save for maybe the odd fan who might have experienced chest pains at the sight) or cause any lawsuits, the lack of editing created further embarrassment for a team known for nothing more. Some might say that’s worse.  


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