Noticed this name error last weekend (it’s dated the 16th April), while reading the online version of the UK paper The Daily Mail; basically the headline created a confused amalgam of the USA’s first black President’s Christian name and the USA’s number one Al-Qaeda terrorist’s surname name. Feeling helpful and noticing the story had only just been put online, I decided to inform the cretin who'd written the piece by submitting the first comment to the story:
"To whom it may concern, I cannot believe your latest typo within the title of this story and I'm sure if you don't get it changed ASAP, you'll be looking for another job, your employer will be weathering a massive political storm and everyone involved in this will be crushed by the all-consuming embarrassment which I'm positive will follow. With that said, I'm now available to replace the staff writer in their job position within your company as I appear to be more astute, considerate and observant than the person paid to proofread their own copy."
Within a couple of minutes, the heading had been changed from “Obama” to the correct name of “Osama” and my comment never appeared with the rest of the oblivious entries, so I felt a little dejected that my good work went unacknowledged. I then checked my email box, hopeful my good turn had garnered a quick reply of gratitude but there was no “Thank you for sparing our honour!”, “Well spotted that Man!” or even “Sorted and ta for that, mate!” email and It slowly dawned on me then that I’d just done unpaid work for a national broadsheet, without even a nod of admiration.
Luckily, I’d used my Window’s Vista Snipping tool feature and saved the offending item as a JPEG, just in case I found a need for it - you never really know when you may need a misspelt heading from an established middle-class paper - and so, tucked it away for a rainy day...
The rain feel just 48 hours later (on the 18th April) with the most ironic story the Daily Mail could possibly run with following their presidential/terrorist gaff: the complete pulping of an Australian copy of a pasta cookbook for the typo error, which stated “Add salt and freshly-ground black PEOPLE” as opposed to “Add salt and freshly-ground black PEPPER”, as shown below;