Momemts in Error

Keeping track of errors is an interesting concept in baseball and a personal pastime of my wife related to our relationship. For some time baseball fans have debated the significance of keeping such a statistic that is subjective and doesn’t really display the ability of a fielder.

In fact, Edgar Renteria of the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants leads both leagues in the total number career errors of an active player, despite helping lead the Giants to their first World Championship since 1954 as well as 2010 World Series Most Valuable Player Award—which is an award remarkably similar to my #1 Dad coffee mug given to me by my children on Father’s Day, despite my wife’s statistical prowess in maintaining my hit-to-error ratio.  It is my testament today that keeping up with errors is futile, judgmental, and unnecessarily pessimistic.

I tell you that to tell you this, I made a mistake. In a post three weeks ago titled Hobo Hauntings. I posted an image of a logo that I designed for the 2011 NAI Region VI workshop in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Not long after the image was posted, Mike E. Perez posted the following comment:

One advantage of the Hobo version over your second one is that Hobo seems to kern better. Personally, I think there are much better font choices than Hobo for that project. Unfortunately, the N.O. Movement Bold doesn’t seem to be one. Also, I really hope the logo didn’t get final approval with the typo in “Moment!”

“What typo?” was my initial reaction and secondly “Who is this Mike E. Perez?” busting my delicate ego. I immediately assumed that I pulled the wrong “Final” logo so I went looking for the correct “Final” logo to find only the error-ridden version. I also went looking for information on any errors that Mike E. Perez had made in life, but a Google search yielded none.

My plan at this point was to delete Mike E. Perez’s comment and simply upload the correct “Final” file on the blog. I would then make fun of several countless errors that Paul has made since I have known him to make me feel better about myself. Most importantly, since my wife reads the blog searching for errors, I had to make this one go away. After only finding the error-ridden “Final” version, I then assumed I had mistakenly saved the “Final” version incorrectly and one of the other review versions was correct. That’s when I found out that the “Final” file was the last updated file and had been shared with the committee in various formats for print and digital media. I had made a huge error.

Here’s the strange part. Is that this “Final” version had been through the hands and eyes of the workshop committee, reviewed by Paul Caputo (Art and Publications Director for the National Association for Interpretation and co-author of Interpretation by Design, who holds a master of fine arts in visual communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Richmond), used on promotional save-the-date bookmarks, placed on the website, seen in newsletters, placed on forms, and distributed to hundreds of people and no one had caught the error.

No matter what though, the error still belongs to me. From this I have learned the following nuggets of knowledge: putting type on the vertical is hard for folks to read, no one really reads logos, I have a personal bias against the letter N, Paul and I take this stuff way too seriously, and I’m dangerous with a keyboard.

For the most part, I was okay with this error until arriving at the National Workshop in Las Vegas, Nevada, and being handed a promotion pin for the 2011 workshop in Eureka Springs, Arkansas to serve as a constant reminder of my Eureka Momemt. Please post a comment below about your favorite personal error (not your favorite personal errors that you have seen me or Paul make) and help me feel better about being such a goof. The error has been corrected, sent out to the committee and is now called “Final2.”

34 thoughts on “Momemts in Error

  1. Aw, Shea. Don’t feel bad. My husband and I have a saying when one of us has a hard time admitting a mistake: “I was right… but not about that.”

    I worked on some signs for a trail last summer that I had done the original signs for about 10 years ago. We were re-using the same bases, which were of varying sizes (why I had made that decision lo these many years ago is another issue). Not only did I have the original artwork, some of the bases needed repairs, so went and took photos of every sign and base. I also took the new artwork and walked the trail again, checking that what I’d written made sense at each location.

    Everything was fine until I got a message from the installer that the sizes of two panels had been switched and they didn’t fit the bases. Yup, I had to pay for the reprint. Even though the client had signed off, it was my mistake. The supplier, bless his cotton socks, let me have the reprint at cost. But you can bet ‘verify sizes!’ is now on my project checklist!

  2. I’ll send you an email so you can fix an error in this blog before the East Coasters wake up and read it. Don’t PCs have spell check? You really need a Mac.

  3. Once, for a 2010 event in Las Vegas (I won’t say which one), I let something go to print with the previous year’s dates and location. It had to be fixed with stickers.

  4. I edited my college newspaper back in the day, and prided myself on the excellent copy-editing skills of my staff (and of their editor). You can imagine my horror to wake up the publication morning after a major international figure had visited campus to see, right there above the fold, the caption on his photo said, “____ doing his thing! Signing autographs or something…” We had all been so concerned about the accuracy of the article on the man’s visit that nobody had looked at the cutline. Eight years later I still have nightmares about that one.

  5. Those pins will go like hotcakes on Ebay someday. I’ll be watching. Lucky I have a baggie of them already. But don’t worry, I won’t ditribute them. I’ll hoard them until they are literally worth fives of cents.

  6. Paul, I noticed the stickers and wondered what that was about. I did resist peeling one off to see what might be under it. We’ve all made mistakes like this so we’ll let that one slide. 😉

    Shea, you can be sure that your “Eureka Momemts” logo will be a memorable one. That is why you did it, right? The misspelling would draw more attention to the workshop and the logo-clever one aren’t you?

  7. We recently published a tenth-anniversary newsletter that contained the unfortunate phrase on a timeline, “opens its doors to the pubic exhibiting three captive-born Kodiak Brown Bears.” We noticed this error AFTER we had ordered and printed all our copies. 🙂

    Also, on our 2 exhibit signs describing our Alaskan coastal bears, their place of birth is shown as, “Katmia, instead of Katmai, National Park.” We’re not really sure how that made it through the final edit, but I have well-meaning visitors point it out to me several times each summer.

    Hope these make you feel better, Shea!

  8. There is a certain Publication Director who sent out a certain workshop program that had a few errors that a certain reader noticed. After the typos were caught, said Publication Pirector said to certain reader, “You’re the man!”

    There is also a certain State Park Region Supervisor whose ewrror in life is that he roots for the No-Good Stinkin’ Yankees!

  9. Jeff, I like the title Publication Pirector. It’s like a director and a pirate in one.

    And you are the man.

  10. Arkansas State Parks released a new kids’ Field Guide for our Explorer badge program this summer. More than 20 people proofed it before we ran 10K printed pieces. Unfortunately, there was a typo. Fortunately, it was just a small error of a small conjunction word, so was even less catchable to the skimming eye than a glaring misspelling. (And clearly typos slip by even the best of us!) We fixed the error before running the next 10K.

  11. This blog entry thing y’all developed needs to have spell check please.

  12. Of course I don’t make mistakes. 😉

    I know of a recent one, though, found on Facebook. Can you find the error?
    “The offsite session Desert-Mountain Justaposition featured a visit to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.”

    Check out the picture of Smokey Bear. 🙂

  13. Wow, I’ve never seen my name so many times in one place! (Except maybe in one of my self-affirming blog posts.)

    None of us are perfect. If you happened to click over to my website, you may have noticed my biggest faux pas. That website exists as a portfolio site, yet I somehow forgot to give any of my contact information (much less a resume). It took me a year and a half to figure that out. Luckily, I’d already found a job.

    More recently, I was given the task of creating a CD media kit to be mailed to clients of our client. Since the account exec was out of town, I was in charge of the creative, production and delivery. I was so wrapped up in the creative and production that I glossed over delivery, and accidentally left out the entire Canadian list of addresses.

    This error upset the client and cost the company some money (not a lot, thank goodness!) and, of course, caused major embarrassment to me and my boss.

    We all make mistakes. The best thing to do is own up to them, and try to make sure we don’t repeat them. 🙂

  14. Long ago I developed a theory that every publication (regardless if it was a site bulletin, newsletter, newspaper, etc.) Would always have one error even if 20 people reviewed it. So my one error became almost a luck charm.

    To pick just one: capitalizing “the Birth of Abraham Lincoln.”

  15. Best (worst?) typo I ever saw was in the plant list for the annual native plant sale at my previous place of employment. Somehow, Zexmenia hispida, incorrectly listed as Sexmania hispida, slipped past all of us. One’s eyes do get a bit buggy checking all those Latin names, but it seems like that one should have jumped out at us…

    Take heart. I sure didn’t notice the “moments,” either. I just thought it was a good-looking logo.

  16. Enough with this “we all make mistakes” nonsense. Some of us strive for perfection and attain it. Or at the very least, we get browbeaten by our mother and grandfather, both of whom work professionally as proofreaders. Start proofreading your kids’ homework when they’re in 2nd grade, and they’ll learn to spell really fast.

    Mom and Grandpa have also taught me that 95% of spelling errors occur in “display type” such as headlines, headers, and pretty much anything that isn’t body text. Since my second job is editing a magazine, the Broder family rule is that anything that really matters (like a magazine that goes to 3000 people, or your newsletter, or an exhibit panel, or your resume) should get checked FOUR times: one spellcheck by the computer, one proofread by the author, one proofread by someone not connected to the project, and one last time holding it upside and backwards.

    BTW, anybody know if there’s still a typo at the top of Pike’s Peak? The sign used to say something about a photograph being a lasting “momento,” which has always bothered me.

    One of my alma maters, Western Illinois University, once played six basketball games in jerseys that said “Western Illinios.” I’m not so much bothered by the mispelling as I am that it took six games for anyone to notice. When you’re a good speller, living here in Spellcheck Nation can be a curse.

  17. You all will notice that Paul said his error was “fixed with stickers.” He did not say that others got the job of sticking on all the stinkin’ stickers ….

  18. Beth: NAI needs seasonal interpreters. Sticking on stickers and such is exactly what they are for. (Just kidding. Seasonals rock.)

  19. Are Phil and I the only ones bitter that the one subject we’re good at is discontinued after 2nd grade?

  20. Oops- sorry, Phil. I guess self-deprecating humor only works if you don’t include someone else in it!

  21. Shea, the original “Momemts” version lives on at the Region 6 website. Maybe you meant to do that. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe your purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others. I’m just saying….

  22. It’s been changed! It did indeed say MOMEMTS yesterday morning. But since I’ve clearly managed to get one person to correct their spelling mistake, I consider my existence validated and my life successful.

  23. Mike E. Perez: You can’t mention your blog and not share a link…that’s the rule.

    Phil Broder: That childhood rant had me rollin’.

    Donna: Ouch!

    Beth: Thanks for spreading the truth.

    No It Doesn’t: Thank you.

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