Road sign blunders show the importance of proofreading

Posted on September 24, 2012


A road sign error in Kettering, Northamptonshire has become the latest example of how a careless spelling mistake can lead to bad press. The sign, painted in huge letters across a quiet cul-de-sac, read ‘keep celar’, rather than ‘keep clear’.

The spelling mistake has since been fixed and has been attributed to human error. However, it appears that the workers traced out the lettering for the sign and then proceeded to spend a couple of hours painting it without noticing their mistake.

The sign joins a list of similar blunders which have made it into the national news and attracted amusement and the wrong kind of publicity. Other errors have included a sign for a ‘sus stop’, as well as numerous examples of misspelling of the word ‘school’.

These mistakes are all too easy to make and too difficult to spot once they’ve been made. We tend not to notice slips that involve simple or common words, instead glossing over these and assuming they have been spelled correctly. As the sign-painters in these cases have found out, though, once word gets out about a spelling mistake, widespread interest and ridicule can follow.

Many website owners outsource content because of the possibility of similar mistakes slipping through the net. Editing and proofreading is usually part of the service offered by a reputable writing agency, so business owners can trust that their content is going to send out a professional message and not end up being reported for silly typos.



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