Are you misprint-susceptible? What about a mistype the CBNU Globe team made on the cover page of the previous issue? In fact, not so many people noticed it, though it was right in plain sight. This typo was innocent and did not hurt anyone. However, history has proved such a little mistake can have a huge impact on many lives, let alone cost millions in any currency.
● The Most Expensive Hyphen in History
Imagine the world in the 1960s, when outer space was the most discussed subject in masses and the Cold War was at its peak. In 1962 NASA launched the first spacecraft of the American Mariner Program for Venus, Mariner 1. And the whole world watched how 293 seconds after takeoff it crashes. Later the incident was called “The most expensive hyphen in history”, because, according to official reports, a dropped hyphen in the program caused incorrect guidance signals to be sent. Though, it is not fully true. In fact, the crash happened due to a combination of 2 factors: poor performance of the guidance antenna and transcription error. The so-called “hyphen” was a simplification for a missing overbar in a math symbol, which affected calculations. The mistake (error) happened during the hand-transcription of a formula and the result was a failure of the first planet probe in the USA, which cost $18.5 million, that would translate to about $155 million today.
● Wicked Bible
Bible, a book with the largest circulation over the history of humanity, was spoiled from the basis by a tiny misprint once. Wicked Bible is the Bible published in 1631, which omitted the ‘not’ from the sentence "Thou shalt not commit adultery". The importance of the misprint was doubled by the fact that the Bible was sent to print by royal printers in London. This mistake was found soon enough, King Charles I ordered to burn every copy of the Bible. The publishers paid a hefty fine and lost their publishing license. It has been a while, but very few copies of the Bible survived and now the Wicked Bible can be seen at the New York Public Library, Dunham Bible Museum, and some private collections. The last time one of ten remaining copes appeared on auction in 2015, it sold for £31 000.
● How to Cook Cannibal Pasta
First, put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Second, beat three eggs in a medium bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black people. Stop! Something went wrong… In 2010, an Australian publishing company produced a book “The Pasta Bible” with a misprinted recipe calling to kill a neighbor instead of using a pepper grinder, let alone a notice of how racist it sounded. Therefore, this company had to destroy 7,000 copies of a cookbook and reprint thousands of new copies of it, though some copies had already been purchased. Because of this typo, the company’s incurred losses are calculated to be about $20,000. The publisher asked not to make an issue of any kind from this incident, so far that request has been in vain.
● Share Market Crash
In movies, a stock exchange looks exciting, but complicated and confusing. It must be difficult to keep control of even for professionals. That’s why a crushing mistype happened with an employee of Mizuho Securities, a big security company in Japan. He mistyped selling 610,000 shares at 1 yen, instead of one share for 610,000 yen. Therefore, it not only costed a fortune but also stimulated chaos and the stock market of Tokyo took a dive of 301 points. Overall, Mizuho Securities lost $341 million and its reputation.
● Lottery Dream Comes True
It is really possible to win a lottery despite what all conspiracy theorists say. Unfortunately, a car dealership in Mexico proved it for themselves. They sent out 50,000 scratch-off lottery flyers for promoting the sales. It was supposed be that only one person gets $1,000. The typo produced 30,000 first-winning lotteries. The prize money was far beyond the company’s financial capability. Therefore, the dealership company gave $5 gift cards to all recipients and apologized with advertisement pages in a local newspaper.
● CBNU Globe Suggests:
As it turned out, a mistype can be crucial. Though we hope no one gets in trouble for a tiny typo, it may be helpful to know how to avoid them. So here is our list of personal suggestions for spell check services.
- Among English checking sites, the range is fairly wide. There are services like Ginger and Grammarly, which have proven their capability for years. Both of them offer a full premium paid version, but a non-professional free one is enough for a student.
- In Korean, options are poorer. One of the most used free checkers is provided by Nara info tech company and Pusan National University at speller.cs.pusan.ac.kr. Another one is made as a plugin for LibreOffice, Apache OpenOffice, and Firefox. It has the most recent updates, but it is a bit complicated to download and set up from source github.com/jihuichoi/korean-spellchecker.
The human factor is the main evidence that we are not robots, as well as that it makes our routine colorful. Misprint may become a serious problem, but the guilty feeling will still end up with a human factor. Let’s pay closer attention according to our responsibility when we are put in a certain situation. Remember, you never know what a small typo may lead to.