Monday, April 6, 2009

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostates

I get Google Alerts to track what's going on in the InDesign world. One of the hits was about an awkward typo that caused the BYU school newspaper to be pulled off the racks and reprinted -- more than 18,000 copies.

This Deseret News article has the details:

After a day of student interviews and reviewing audit trails, Evans said he believes the gaffe ironically occurred during a spell check. The Daily Universe was using Adobe software called InDesign, which, when it found the word apostle misspelled as "apsotale," suggested "apostate" at the top of its correction list.

"She quickly clicked on the first (suggestion) and moved on," Evans said. "A real unfortunate mistake."

The Deseret News, which also uses the InDesign software, replicated the misspelling and found that Adobe's software does suggest apostate before apostle; Microsoft Word offers it in reverse order.

Imagine how heart-broken I am that my beloved software could inspire such a demonic mistake. InDesign, failing to recognize the sacred nature of an apsotale, offered "apostate" before "apostle." The bleary-eyed student editor, likely late for an Uno game, was so inveigled by InDesign that she picked the first suggested word. Not coincidentally, InDesign has six menu commands and six default panels. Version 6, that is.

According to school officials, there is nothing amusing about this sad, costly, non-Freudian mishap. However, several apsotales were indeed amused. Yeah, verily, they did snicker.


  1. i get inveigled every single day. twice some days.

  2. I saw that article this morning. Pretty funny. I doubt it was funny to those in the eye of the inquisition.

    Will claims of agnostic / atheist InDesign programmers surface?

  3. I can't believe they would trash an entire run rather than just print a correction in the next issue! The waste of all that paper actually makes me feel a little ill. Also ill-making is my suspicion that someone at BYU is self-righteously yet humbly congratulating himself (surely it was a He who made the decision) on his willingness to make such an unselfish sacrifice of time, money and resources in order to protect the honor of God's messengers on earth ... or some such baloney. Only in Utah County.

  4. It did seem like a bit of an overreaction. After all, it was the trashing of the papers that generated the story, not the typo. Still, that typo is about as bad as it gets.

    A quick check reveals these other gems.

    * MSNBC added an extra g to Niger Ellis, a black man.

    * The masthead of the New Hampire Valley Newss.

    It's a close call between the Daily Universe and MSNBC.

  5. This may be a stretch, but I wonder if a bad spelling of proselyte (like prostilyte, for example) ever gets corrected to something more interesting?

  6. Prostitutes for Protestantism has almost as nice a ring to it as Jews for Jesus, don't you think? It's on a par with the less well-known Semites for Satan, too.

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