Typo Hunt: Can You Catch the Typos Pro Editors Missed?


Here are some passages containing real typos that got past professional editors. The ones that note a publication and date made it into print. The others slipped by one or more editors at my freelance job before one of us finally caught them.* See if you can catch the mistakes. Answers are below.

 1.  The sweeping living room is a reflection of Ms. Robinson’s deep interest in early 20th-century American art; she started her career in the early 1970s at Sotheby’s. Most arresting is a life-size oil portrait by Ron Sherr of Ms. Robinson. It it she wears a strapless black dress, much like the one Madame X wore in John Singer Sargent's famous 1884 painting, and the same choker worn by the little elephant in the drawing in the study. (New York Times, July 14, 2009)

2. Enjoy an appetizer of shrimp Louis or lump crap cocktail.

3. A Boston University medical student charged in the hotel slaying of a masseuse and the robbery of a another preyed on women he found through Craigslist and investigators are looking for other possible victims, authorities said.

4. I really felt like giving up for a while when I was deepest in the throws of my illness, but I had a lot of people pulling for me.

5. Guests sipped signature cocktails and nibbled hors d'oeuvres into the wee hours until the evening winded down and they went home with gift baskets teeming with treats from local merchants.

 6. They sampled delicious tomato tartar.  


1.  “It it” instead of “In it.”

 2. Um, it should have been “crab” cocktail. It gets worse: I didn’t catch the typo. One of the other editors I work with caught it on the final proofread -- after I had already read it.

 3. “a another”

 4. “Throws” should be “throes.”

 5.  “Winded” should be “wound.”

 6. “Tartar” should be “tartare.”

 * The passages pilfered from my job are disguised slightly, due to the fact that I’d like to keep my job.

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