Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Grammar

Oops! A Diploma Typo Took 6 Years to Be Found

A Colorado University is being forced to correct a glaring error: a diploma typo that’s been handed out to graduates for a half-dozen years now!

Here’s an interesting story out of Grand Junction, Colorado: it seems there’s an embarrassing diploma typo that could cost the university almost $50,000 to correct.

Colorado Mesa University issued diplomas over the past six years stating the graduates’ degrees were being conferred by the chair of CMU’s “Coard of Trustees.” The Daily Sentinel points out the words are printed in a “hard-to-read Old English font.”

Sure, Old English may not be the easiest typeface to decipher, but the last time I checked, a capital B didn’t look even close to a capital C.

Since the word Chair is right above the misspelled “Coard,” it should be obvious that the two words use the same letter.

You wouldn’t think it’d take six years to catch the mistake.

On the other hand, years ago, I worked at a station that used to print an annual hurricane guide. One of the pages in the guide was a checklist of supplies to have on hand just to be ready for a hurricane should one come.

Every year, the members of the marketing department got a printout of the guide to proofread. Every year, we found another typo on that page that had somehow slipped by a group of us the year before. The checklist never changed substantially other than the corrections we made when we spotted another mistake.

At one point, we began to think our graphics guy was slipping in typos just to mess with our minds, but we were pretty sure that was just a joke.

It’s funny to think that sometimes, our brains can play a trick on us and allow our eyes to “correct” such a mistake so we go right past it.

In terms of the diploma, the graduate who discovered the error makes a good point: “There was this moment of laughing at it and kind of being baffled by it, and the more I thought about it the more frustrated I got, because I’m sitting on $30,000 worth of debt and they can’t take the time to use spellcheck.”

Maybe they did spellcheck…but even spellchecks aren’t always foolproof.

He even admits that when he first saw the error, he wasn’t sure it actually was an error, given the complicated typeface. If he didn’t recognize it as a typo at first himself, maybe he shouldn’t be quite so quick to judge.

If it were your diploma, would you want a reprinted, corrected copy?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.