A few UK publishing clangers/typos
A website ran a story about MPs voicing their concerns over proposals to close the local branch of the Land Registry. Nothing odd about that perhaps, but the writer decided to plump for the headline: “MPs call for jobs blow to be reversed.”
A local Brighton newspaper reported: “People in Preston ward are invited to a meeting at 7.15pm tonight in St Mary’s Church Hall, Brighton, to meet councillors and beat police officers.
A small slip by the Kent Messenger newspaper gave a whole new meaning to an incident at a wedding: “The bride was very upset when one of her little attendants accidentally stepped on her brain and tore it.”
In June 2009, BBC News online featured a story about two male penguins caring for a small chick with the headline “Gay penguins rear adopted chick.” It has since been altered to read “Male penguins raise adopted chick.”
The Daily Mail reported how “police chased the getaway cat for more than 40 miles”.
The Leamington Spa Observer ran the following correction after a glaring mistake was spotted in a previous edition: “Error: The Observer wishes to apologise for a typesetting error in our Tots and Toddlers advertising feature last week which led to Binswood Nursery School being described as serving ‘children casserole’ instead of chicken casserole.”
More newspaper howlers
“… Obama Bin Laden was killed…”
In March, the Telegraph website got a bit mixed up over exactly what LHC stood for in a headline about the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. The headline read: “Large Hardon Collider breaks energy record,” when it was initially posted but it was later corrected and changed to “Hadron“.
The Bristol Gazette reported how “a man was admitted to hospital suffering from buns.”
A serious story about the most famous choir in the world being caught up in a sex scandal in Austria and Germany ran on the Times website with the headline “Vienna Boys’ Choir caught up in sex abuse scandals.” It was rather unfortunate that the author, whose name appeared right under the headline, was called Roger Boyes.
A story from April last year which appeared in most newspapers and on numerous websites, including The Independent and The Mirror, told how a 66 year old man pleaded guilty in court to having sex with a horse and a donkey. In the details that followed, it emerged that the defence counsel requested the defendant be released on bail and said: “The defendant does not have a stable address although he says his daughter can provide one”. He clearly had frequented stable addresses in the past.
One of the all time classic gaffes demonstrated that tweaking a headline can be very embarrassing. A two-page spread in the Daily Express on TV duo Ant and Dec ran under the headline: “Can Dec anally match Ant?” It was, of course, meant to say “finally”.
An Australian publishing company landed itself in hot water after an embarrassing misprint in one of its cookery books instructed people to “add salt and freshly ground black people” to a pasta recipe. Penguin Group Australia had to destroy and reprint 7,000 copies of The Pasta Bible at a cost of around £12,000.
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