If you struggle with spelling, take comfort in the fact it’s unlikely one of your spelling mistakes will ever be as high profile as this.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently printed 46 million new bank notes with a glaring spelling mistake. The word “responsibility” was wrongly spelled “responsibilty” on 46 million newly-minted A$50 bank notes. The notes feature Edith Cowan, Australia’s first female MP. According to BBC News, the A$50 note (about £41) is the most widely circulated in Australia as the denomination most commonly dispensed by cash machines.
What looks like a lawn in the background of Mrs Cowan’s portrait is, in fact, rows of text – a quotation from her first speech to parliament:
“It is a great responsibility to be the only woman here, and I want to emphasise the necessity which exists for other women being here,” is repeated several times over in microscopic print.
Unfortunately, each time “responsibility” is printed as “responsibilty” – with a missing “i”.
It took more than six months for someone with a good magnifying glass to spot the typo. (If you’ve got 20/20 vision, you might just be able to spot the blunder above Edith Cowan’s shoulder).
The RBA confirmed the spelling mistake and said it would fix the error in future print runs. But for now, around 46 million of the new notes are in use across the country. As spelling mistakes go, that takes some beating!
And in case you’re wondering – yes, the typo banknote is totally valid as legal currency.
If you’re frequently tripped up by typos, check out my handy checklist of commonly misspelt words here – or consider hiring a professional copywriter like me for your business communications.