What do they teach in those pubic schools?
Think spelling is unimportant? One little “l” can ruin your whole day. Ask the Indiana agency responsible for this billboard. You’re looking at every proofreader’s (and press checker’s) nightmare: A big, fat published typo. A “pubic” typo, in fact.
The above billboard’s missing “l” is now a capital “L” on the collective foreheads of the Blue Waters Group, the agency responsible for the suddenly infamous “pubic schools” sign.
Honorary Vigilante Grammarian and South Bend resident Lee MacMillan said his wife spotted the embarrassing error of omission while sitting in traffic, as reported in the South Bend Tribune.
The digital billboard was for a website called SouthBendOn.com and was created by The Blue Waters Group to promote South Bend, Indiana, on behalf of the city’s redevelopment commission. The agency took responsibility for the typo, saying that four proofreaders checked but somehow missed it. (Even spell check couldn’t have saved them.)
SEO Fall Out?
Along with the ironic embarrassment of misspelling the headline on a school billboard, the typo could also cause search engine optimization problems. Any SEO work the agency may have done could be overwhelmed by the publicity and subsequent links connecting the agency to the typo story. (So one more won’t hurt, right?) Not exactly the kind of thing you want prospects to find first when doing a Google search on your company.
As AdWeek puts it, using “pubic” instead of “public” is one of the classic typos of all time. It even happened at a local community newspaper where I once worked. The paper’s editor wrote a weekly opinion column. One particularly memorable headline read, “Pubic Forum To Be Held.” Being the writer, he ended up with the “credit” for what was a typesetter’s mistake. The good news is that this happened 25 years ago, before camera-phones and the Internet made everything instantly … er, public and publishable.
Do you have any good typo stories or photos? I’ll even settle for some unintentionally funny ads like Jay Leno features during his headlines segment.