Exam blunders show why every letter counts

Posted on August 6, 2012


A competition run by the Times Higher Education magazine has found a number of amusing spelling and historical errors made by students.

The yearly competition, which looks for the most noteworthy blunders made in exam papers, found that one student had claimed that Stalin set up a ‘buffet zone’, rather than a buffer zone, in Eastern Europe. This kind of error is exactly the kind dreaded by website owners, who know that even one wrong letter can give an article a completely unintended meaning, sometimes with hilarious consequences.

Among the historical errors found, one confused student had Christianity pre-dating the birth of Jesus Christ, claiming that Spain had been a Christian country since ‘the third century BC’. Another student appeared to suffer some confusion over letters, giving the answer ‘product, price, place and distribution’ when asked to name four Ps connected with marketing.

These mistakes are typical of the kind of minor error that can radically alter the intended meaning of a sentence or a piece of writing. Many businesses have fallen foul of small spelling or factual errors that have caught the attention of readers online.

Reliable freelance copywriters are used regularly as a safeguard against these mistakes being published and reproduced around the web. A good copywriting service will involve high quality writing, which is then thoroughly checked by a proof-reader to catch any small errors. A second pair of eyes will make all the difference to the accuracy of an article.

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