Typos or typographical errors are common since the beginning of written word and of course misspoken words as well.
But on a web site or printed marketing ad this can be very costly. In a quick search on the internet I found some famous typos and their ramifications (these were found at typobuddy.com)

“In July 2007 A Roswell, New Mexico-based car dealership sent out 50,000 scratch-off ads each as $1000.00 winners. Touting a grand prize of $1,000 (which was to be 1 in 50,000), these cards were incorrectly printed by an Atlanta-based Force Events Direct Marketing Co. The result was 50,000 crazed locals who thought they had each won the grand prize, calling the dealership to cash-in. Realizing that a $50,000,000 pay-off was neither intended or realistic, this unnamed dealership has offered to hand out $5 Wal-Mart gift cards in exchange for the misprinted scratchers, which equaled a paltry $250,000. Additionally, Force Events held a $5,000 drawing for anyone with a ticket, in an attempt to quell the immediate dissatisfaction of the townspeople, as well as a series of 20 other drawings – each with a $1,000 prize.”

“In September 2006, A trader at Mizuho Securities accidentally sold 610,000 shares in J-Com Co. (a job recruiting company) for 1 yen a piece, instead of 1 share at 610,000 yen. Unable to cancel the order Mizuho Securities has lost roughly $340 million as a result. Just think how lucky you would have been to purchase a few pieces of this stock! Attributed to “fat-finger” syndrome, which is stock trader slang for making large blunders, the trader’sname has not been made public (likely for security purposes). When Mizuho contacted the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the latter cited a glitch in its system that made this trade irrevocable. Discussions have occurred with the possibility of Mizuho and the TSE somehow sharing the loss, but still no agreement has been reached.”

“A Student at Stanford University, Sean Anderson accidentally helped Larry Page come up with the name and spelling of Google. While Page and Anderson were in Page’soffice, the two were attempting to come up with a name for the would-be search behemoth. Sean had suggested verbally the word “googolplex”, spurning Page to shorten it to “googol”. Anderson then went to check the availability of the word, accidentally spelling it “Google” in an internet domain name registry. Available it was, and the company has decided to go with this spelling ever since. Whether or not the company has succeeded because of the name is subject to some speculation, it is very interesting to see what has become of a basic spelling error. It also goes to show that not all typos result in lives being ruined and/or financial turmoil, way to go Sean Anderson (although he now works for Microsoft).”


Obviously it is a good idea to check and recheck your website copy, newsletter content and marketing pieces before releasing to the internet. If at all possible, have someone else re-read the copy before publishing it live.
The same goes for programming code for your website.

Simple typo’scan cause ill effect or hours of recoding because of one keystroke or missed punctuation. My rule of thumb is, if you’ve entered code in the html of your website and it isn’t working quite right and you’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out where the code is broke have a friend or another person with code experience check it for you.
You would not believe the number of times I’ve had a period instead of a comma or an accent mark instead of an apostrophe or simply missed a colon at the end of a statement.

If you like this article be sure to visit: 50 Biggest Web site mistakes and I’ll notify you when we launch.

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