The Most Expensive Typo in Legislative History


WP Writers Group

priceonomics-typo2
When I was a public Internet manager, a client brought a handwritten affidavit who wanted it to be word processed. While I was doing it, I came across a sentence saying, ‘…I jumped ON the van…’ I told the client that this was an affidavit and should be precise. I asked him if he really meant ‘on’ and not ‘inside’. He thought for a moment then said ‘on’ is ok (I began to suspect some deception).

‘In 1872, one misplaced comma in a tariff law cost American taxpayers more than $2 million, or $38,350,000 in today’s dollars.

‘In the middle of a 1969 interview, writer E.B. White paused, smiled, and declared what he loved most about the publication he wrote for: “Commas in The New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim.” An avid grammarian, the Charlotte’s Web author thoroughly enjoyed this routine.

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About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
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