The Typographical Error

I’ve been researching the history of my organization, CBMC (I’m a designer at the national service center). We put out a magazine for decades called CBMC Contact, and I found this poem on the back cover of a 1952 issue. It’s cute, and cute things should be blogged (within certain strict guidelines).

The Typographical Error

The typographical error is a slippery thing and sly;

You can hunt til you are dizzy, but it somehow will get by.

Til the forms are off the presses, it is strange how still it keeps;

It shrinks down in a corner and it never stirs or peeps.

That typographical error, too small for human eyes,

Til the ink is on the paper, when it grows to mountain size.

The boss, he stares with horror, then he grabs his hair and groans;

The copyreader drop his head upon his hands and moans–

The remainder of the issue may be clean as clean can be,

But the typographical error is the only thing you see.

W.C. Winslow

2 thoughts on “The Typographical Error”

  1. I was shown this poem back in the last 1970’s while working in Montana and it was engraved in my head. I had a copy for several years but over the various moves – military and personal, lost it. So glad to have finally found it again. And I still remembered most of it too!!! Thank you for posting this. It seems that proofing is a dying art as I find more and more glaring errors in newsprint, regulations, commentaries, blogs, etc. Again, thank you for posting this oh so true poem!

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