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6 famous proofreading mistakes!

Posted in News, Printing Tips and Tricks on 15 February 2017

Proofreading mistakes

Here at Dox HQ we are a well oiled machine that downloads your uploads through cyberspace in a magical fashion, and then with a sprinkle of ink dust turns them into real live print on paper. It then drops through your letterbox and hopefully isn’t chewed up by the dog before you get to it. We pride ourselves on producting top quality online printing, and, when you’ve been in the document printing game as long as we have, you know that the one thing that can spoil an otherwise perfect piece of print is… proofreading mistakes!

So firstly, in the interests of producing a document which is correct, we suggest you proofread, proofread, and proofread again. Even better, get someone else to do the proofreading for you, as there will often be things you miss which someone else may pick up on. When you’re close to something you can actually suffer from word-blindness, and you read what you expect to read. Hey – we’re just trying to avoid you having to reprint!

And now, in the interests of fun, we give you a few big proofreading mistakes which shouldn’t have got past the copy-editor (but did).

Penguin Australia’s book which suggested that a recipe for tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto should include “salt and freshly ground black people”, rather than pepper.


In Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, the main character strips naked, swims out to the wrecked boat, and fills his pockets with food. Er…which pockets?!

 message in a bottle

Even Shakespeare messed up, in Julius Caesar there is mention of a clock striking the hour. The play takes place in ancient Rome, which didn’t have clocks.

An old book by Shakespeare

Probably the oldest known printing mistake ever made was this one in a 1631 reprint of the King James bible in which God commands Moses to commit adultery. So grave was the mistake that the printers were fined and had their printing license revoked. End of career for them!


Spell-checkers won’t pick up on correctly spelled words incorrectly used.


And don’t forget to make sure you read ALL the text on your posters…


As for me, my biggest mistake ever was on a postcard of a well-known department store which stated a piece of furniture was made in 1856, not 1865… 5000 copies were printed and 5 people had proof-read it before print, which goes to show that even perfect little me can make mistakes (heh)… obviously we were all suffering from number-blindness that day!