The World’s Most Expensive Typos

Posted on October 5, 2008 

The World’s Most Expensive Typos

When you think of typos, you think of grammar and poor middle school grades. It’s hard to imagine that in this day and age a typo of any serious consequence can make it through the cracks, with spell-check being an automatic feature in most email services and office software. However, some typos in recent years have made it into the news, albeit sometimes under unusual circumstances. The typo, it seems, will likely never go away completely because its very existence is a reflection of the human element in everyday life.

A New York City Department of Education bookkeeping error resulted in double spending in the city’s transportation fund. This misspelling turned out to be a word that contained an extra letter and was not readable by the accounting software in use. It was revealed by City Comptroller William Thompson during an audit in June 2006, that this mistake resulted in $2.8 million being spent in what was only supposed to be $1.4 million earmarked for transportation. The city had to make up the difference.

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