Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Costly Typos Encourage Good Spelling & Grammar

When I teach research & writing to law students, it can be a challenge to get them to buy-in to the notion that they should take great care with their writing - particularly punctuation - with commas specifically.

To encourage care, I highlight cases that have turned on punctuation or the high cost that can result from a typo. Winning cases and saving money tends to get their attention.

There is a post on Mental Floss that discusses some interesting and expensive examples of costly typos..
  • A missing hyphen in a code cost NASA $80 million
  • A spelling mistake in an eBay ad cost the seller $502,996
  • An extra letter in a word caused accounting software to pay out $2.8m instead of $1.4m
These examples are good classroom fodder to make a lecture on punctuation and grammar just a little more interesting. 

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