Today, we are all poor spellurs

CBC reprints an e-mail distributed by PMO implicating almost everyone in that inadvertent reference to improper hygiene. Note that our Kady is nearly identified as her own independent media outlet.




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Today, we are all poor spellurs

  1. Ah – poor babies…
    I bet the wipe their snivelling noses on their sleeves – just like everyone else…

  2. That was pretty childish. It's like saying Johnnie hit me first mommy.

    • No, what was childish was the initial "gotcha." It's like those people who believe JFK was accidentally saying "jelly donut" in his speech at the Berlin Wall: no matter what the innocuous typo or syntax error, the context clearly rules out the sillier of possible interpretations.

      • I'll also add that it is tempting for english speakers to stick a "u" after every "q".

      • I'll also add that it is tempting for english and french speakers to stick a "u" after every "q".

      • avr, the gotcha on a spelling mistake is unquestionably, silly, but…even you have to admit that feeling the need for an release to say "everyone else does it too" seems a bit insecure/thin-skinned no?

        • Journalists need to be reminded of their own professional mortality from time to time, especially during the silly season.

          • You're right, nobody every criticizes journalists, thank God we have the PMO to do that for us.

        • Dimitri was probably just annoyed by the hypocrisy.

          • Someone in the PMO (or is that PMHO) annoyed by hypocrisy? How can they stand to work there?

          • ….sure i guess, but these guys are the government, they need to realize that getting criticized – fairly or not – is central to the job…they distinguish themselves not by noting that Kady can't spell Iqaluit (jk), but by governing….

      • Meh. It is kind of an overreaction. I saw the story today, had a little chuckle, and moved on. One of those times you wish everyone would just act like a normal person, have a laugh and move on.

    • No, what was childish was the initial "gotcha." It's like those people who believe JFK was accidentally saying "jelly donut" in his speech at the Berlin Wall: no matter what the innocuous typo or syntax error, the context clearly rules out the sillier of possible interpretations.

      (Additionally, once it's an anglicized proper name, as Iqaluit is, it's not as though the language of origin matters that much. Or have I missed the widespread agitation to spell Ottawa "properly," as "Odaawaa?")

  3. So they justify anything by citing precedent…

    • Is justification really the issue?

      I think the point of the PMO missive was that, hey, easy mistake to make. Even the Commissioner of Offical Languages made it.

      • Really? Who knows what their point was, except that they aren't willing to laugh it off.

      • They always have a reason. There is always someone to blame. They are the friggin' PMO. Stop making excuses, fix the errors and be responsible for it.

  4. Good thing Harper fired all his other Communication Senior Advisors, eh?

  5. This is hilarious. The PMO never ceases to amaze (or is that demaze).

  6. I'm just glad that the economy has fully recovered, the Afghan conflict has been resolved and we've eradicated poverty! When the PMO is dealing with stuff like this Canada must be in great shape!

    • Yeah, don't worry – it was our tax dollars used to pay someone (or, gawd forbid, a whole team) to scour pages to line up all the examples of the extra u. But, if they weren't doing this, they would be designing idiotic ten percenters and get to know woody videos or perhaps writing programs to control the path of falling bird poop on their screens.

      • it was our tax dollars used to pay someone (or, gawd forbid, a whole team) to scour pages to line up all the examples of the extra u.

        Ever heard of Google? It's quite a timesaver . You just type in the word, and presto! Instant results. It probably took him all of three minutes to compile the list.

        • Hey, don't get all serious over this topic. But if you insist, you'd at least have to combine it with some -'s, to sort out the stories which are about the PMO's spelling or simply reproducing the word from Harper's press release. That is, assuming the PMO list is even accurate.

          • But if you insist, you'd at least have to combine it with some -'s, to sort out the stories which are about the PMO's spelling or simply reproducing the word from Harper's press release.

            All you have to do is include a date range in the search query. Exclude today's date and it's all fair game.

          • Still, it was probably more like 30 minutes than three…

            And at the rate we pay communications staff, that's way too much money for a non-issue.

        • So why was it again that he didn't just use Google in the first place to find the correct spelling of Iqaluit? This is just like the Prime Minister's problem with the body of Christ. If someone could have just brought themselves to shrug, smile sheepishly and apologize for the mixup, the story would have ended right there.
          When I make a stupid mistake (being human, it happens, right?), in my estimation, the less I bring it up after the fact, the less it comes up. Every single time they make a stupid mistake, the PMO chooses to compound the stupid mistake by insisting on reminding everyone about that time they made that stupid mistake. Why?

  7. Design skills…AND SPELL CHECK?!?!?! These guys are like a super-computer!

  8. Martin made a trip to Iqaluit for under $2500?? How much is Harper's trip costing? Do tell.

    • Such stupid 'gotcha' politics. Who cares how much it cost? As long as the cause and purpose is just, it's ridiculous to start inane number crunching on things like this. Arctic sovereignty is an important issue, as is ensuring our northern friends know they're a part of the political discourse in this country.

    • Honestly, who cares? The PM should be able visit Canadian communities without the inevitable chorus of Canadians bitching about the travel cost.

      • Who cares? The PMO thought it was necessary to release a copy of Martin's travel expense for the same trip. Notice, everyone else they just said spelled it wrong, but with Martin, they photocopied his travel expense and sent it to the media.

        The PMO is one strange outfit with some severe insecurities. If they focussed on their jobs more, they likely would feel more secure.

        • Really, you're missing the point of why they included the copy of Martin's own travel expenses. Nobody cares what it cost. The point was to highlight that Harper is not the first prime minister whose office made that mistake. Martin's office made the very same spelling error (gasp!).

          • I am not going to even try to understand the supposed point of the PMO press release on this. But notice they also accused many others of making the same mistake and did not provide documentation.

            You estimated 3 minutes – how much paperwork do you think is associated with a PM trip to the North. They didn't manage to photocopy the travel form using google.

            Really this PMO press release is just so ridiculous. I can't believe there are people here making excuses and arguments for the press release.

            If the Liberals win the election and the PMO issues a press release on Harper's five year old spelling mistakes with photocopy evidence, and I come on here defending it or explaining it, please do the humane thing and block my ID from posting. My mind will certainly have gone.

          • Really this PMO press release is just so ridiculous. I can't believe there are people here making excuses and arguments for the press release.

            For something that is supposedly so ridiculous, you don't seem to have much of a sense of humour about it. Everything's a travesty! Lighten up. This whole thing is so silly and trivial. Must be August.

          • Bumgate?

            Wipegate?

          • I prefer Typogate, but Iqaluitgate works as well (bonus points for spelling the name of the scandal correctly.)

          • Na to Typogate – it implies the writer knew the correct spelling.

            I think Fish-out-of-Watergate nicely encompasses the real meaning of Iqaluit, and the faux pas.

          • Shouldn't it be Iqualuigate?

    • Honestly, who cares? The PM should be able to visit Canadian communities without the inevitable chorus of Canadians bitching about the travel cost.

    • Likely less than MI and his Liberal's will cost us, for their trip to China.

      • That's with Liberal Party money, you dumb Polievre.

  9. I-TRAVEL 2000.COM!

    Call 1-866-WOWDEAL! And get away for less. 1-866-WOWDEAL!

    • That's stuck in my head now.
      I'll get you for that.

  10. I'd just like to note that I didn't even write about the misspelling! I feel persecuted.

    • Actually, I wasn't able to find any examples of you misspelling the word, but I only checked on google. Were you just in Iqaluit the one time with Dion?

      • Found it! July 31, 2009

        1:24:27 PM
        More chatter about pools — the photo kind, not the watery kind — which is sufficiently technical to leave ITQ's mind to wander. Blah blah, limited access in some cases; the Toronto — the ship — is “logistically tricky” as far as ferrying reporters back and forth from Iqualuit, since it's a tight fit in the chopper.

      • That wasn't me — I have no idea why that appears under my name; I may have been posting for someone else. Sadly, I have never been to Iqaluit — but I did misspell it two times out of three in my liveblogging of the super secret background briefing on the trip, which is – I assume – what Google dredged up. (The one time I spelled it correctly was probably a fluke.) If I was the least bit uncharitable, I would point out that *I* am not the prime minister who has highlighted Arctic sovereignty such a key issue, but just a humble (and often spellcheck-deprived) scribe; since I am not, I will offer my apologies to anyone offended by my error, and assure all and sundry that after this episode, it is unlikely to be repeated. berried, bien sur. From: IntenseDebate Notifications

      • That wasn't me — I have no idea why that appears under my name; I may have been posting for someone else. Sadly, I have never been to Iqaluit — but I did misspell it two times out of three in my liveblogging of the super secret background briefing on the trip, which is – I assume – what Google dredged up. (The one time I spelled it correctly was probably a fluke.)

        If I was the least bit uncharitable, I would point out that *I* am not the prime minister who has highlighted Arctic sovereignty such a key issue, but just a humble (and often spellcheck-deprived) scribe; since I am not, I will offer my apologies to anyone offended by my error, and assure all and sundry that after this episode, it is unlikely to be repeated.

      • That wasn't me — I have no idea why that appears under my name; I may have been posting for someone else. Sadly, I have never been to Iqaluit — but I did misspell it two times out of three in my liveblogging of the super secret background briefing on the trip, which is – I assume – what Google dredged up. (The one time I spelled it correctly was probably a fluke.)

        If I was the least bit uncharitable, I would point out that *I* am not the prime minister who has highlighted Arctic sovereignty as such a key issue, but just a humble (and often spellcheck-deprived) scribe; since I am not, I will offer my apologies to anyone offended by my error, and assure all and sundry that after this episode, it is unlikely to be repeated.

      • That wasn't me — I have no idea why that appears under my name; I may have been posting for someone else. Sadly, I have never been to Iqaluit — but I did misspell it two times out of three in my liveblogging of the super secret background briefing on the trip, which is – I assume – what Google dredged up. (The one time I spelled it correctly was probably a fluke.)

        If I was the least bit uncharitable, I would point out that *I* am not the prime minister who has highlighted Arctic sovereignty as such a key issue, but just a humble (and often spellcheck-deprived) scribe; since I am not, I will offer my apologies to anyone offended by my error, and assure all and sundry that after this episode, it is unlikely to be repeated.

        • After this episode, I don't expect anyone else to repeat the error, either!

          Seriously, Kady, I am constantly in awe that you are able to work your berry magic with so few typos and other errors. You're the last person who should ever be criticized for a typo (not that anyone else should, either, because really… who cares?).

          • Here Here.
            Iqaluit is one of those words that even the mighty comment system here underlines as wrong.

            So when planning a trip any where and writing copy in support thereof a visit to update the speel chucker with all those indigenous names might be on a well qualified Government staffers to do list as SOP. Maybe?

        • At least O'Malley takes it all with a cheerful sense of humour. Soudas and all those going after him for misspelling an unpronouncable name, not so much.

    • Meanwhile they let the same spelling error from the Calgary Sun a couple days ago go by with nary a mention.

      I'm sure it must be a good omen to be singled out by name for public flogging by such a humourless crowd.

  11. By Kady O'Malley – Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 11:06 AM … We're in Iqaluit this morning with Stéphane Dion. Fun and informative videoblog to follow.

  12. I suppose all these people who are crowing about a spelling mistake are not the those who, on these blogs, often mix up 'their, there, they're", "your and you're", "it's and its", etc., etc.

    • Read the original post. This is not about any spelling mistake. We are discussing Harper's charming style for interacting with the media.
      Well, that and whether Harper lost his sense of humour in his iqualuit.

  13. If Kadey O' Malley and The National Post jumped off the roof, would it be okay for the PMO to do it too?

    • First, it's jumped off a BRIDGE. If you're gonna use a cliche, USE A CLICHE.

      Second, talk all you want about the NP going down in flames, but don't even JOKE about us losing Kady!

      Third, if you're going to complain about the PMO spelling a proper name incorrectly don't spell a proper name incorrectly in your complaint (KADY).

      Finally though, if you're going to insist on taking this silly thing seriously, why stick to the "pointing out the faults of others to detract from your own faults is LAME" argument? Isn't the more relevant argument "Why the Hell don't any of these people have Spell Check turned on?!?!?" Spell Check in Word catches this error. Not being able to spell isn't all that blameworthy. Not turning on Spell Check though? That's just silly.

      • Third, if you're going to complain about the PMO spelling a proper name incorrectly don't spell a proper name incorrectly in your complaint (KADY).

        LOL. Agreed. Pretty weak, BCL.

      • "Third, if you're going to complain about the PMO spelling a proper name incorrectly don't spell a proper name incorrectly in your complaint (KADY). "

        Meant too misspel. It was ionic, and added piquancy, dikhed.

        Same to you, Frog.

        • Heh. "But I meant to take that pratfall! See? I'll do it again to prove it!"

          Dude, you were so totally owned by LKO.

        • Heh. "But I meant to take that pratfall! See? I'll do it again to prove it!"

          Dude, you were so totally pwned by LKO.

        • We can all recognize a faceplant when we see one dude.

  14. See, if it were just the spelling mistake, I would have shrugged, it's the e-mail that makes me wonder

  15. This is an idiotic story, and I hesitate to comment lest I be taken to be taking this story seriously…but. Iqaluit spelled with an extra u is caught by Word's Spell Check for Pete's sake! And not just in Word, but even in my Firefox Canadian Dictionary add-on (which is sometimes TERRIBLY flawed).

    Again, terribly silly story and we should all move on, but still. There's no excuse WHATSOEVER for ANYONE to misspell a word that Spell Check catches!!! Well, OK, maybe "I can't afford a computer", or "I was live-blogging on a Blackberry" but that's about it!

    • But what if you have the Inuit spell check option turned on? It wouldn't be caught.

    • Actually, the spell check in my copy of Word 2003 suggests replacing Iqaluit with Iqualuit. Perhaps the PMO is as behind-times as I am.

      And that's why I don't use spell check. If in doubt I fall back on the Oxford Unabridged. And if the word's not there I find a different one ie, Frobisher Bay.

  16. Maybe I'm missing something. I thought the initial story was kind of funny? Did anyone take it as anything more than the media reporting some light-hearted humour? Did people actually think this was another case of the media trying to create a story out of nothing?

    • Clearly, the PMO did.

      • Unless they're joking too. Although that would new for them.

    • You're not missing a thing. I thought it was kind of funny, too, and while I think I probably learned for all time to spell 'Iqaluit' WITHOUT the use of a spellchecker, I probably also learned the value of using the spellchecker. And also: a little humility while owning up to one's mistakes will go a long way toward convincing others of one's not being a complete ass.

    • " light-hearted humour ? "

      Yeah, in a Keystone Cops meet the Three Stooges in Iqaluit sort of way.

  17. Maybe the PMO was just having some fun as well. Although you'd think they'd try for something a bit less ambiguous than a release. Tough to catch the joke when its the written word.

  18. Now we know what Harper actually did with his communion wafer in New Brunswick. He took a bite and made the wafer in the shape of a 'u'. Later, he took the 'u' out and inserted it after the 'q' in Iqaluit.

  19. What is Dimitri Soudas' background, besides being Harper's favorite kneeler? Does he have any?

    • "Harper's favorite kneeler"? Not the most subtle double-entendre.

  20. Bad spelling is ok if everyone does it?
    Buck stops where?

    • Well actually in the English language, once everyone does it they just change the spelling so that it is in fact ok.

      • Tell it to the people of Iqaluit.

  21. i voted but just to see if the position i was taking would pop up after i did Dot….. if that helps…you are down to 3

  22. Why is the PMO never, never, never willing to admit error without going on the attack as well?

    Misspelling "Iqaluit" is a mistake that could happen to anyone. Had the PMO just issued a simple press release apologizing for the error, no one would have thought twice about it.

    • Absolutely. The response is juvenile. I was expecting to see a picture of DS with his tounge out, thumbs in his ears and his fingers pointed skyward attached to the end.

    • Or just used a bit of humor to lighten the effect. But then again, when you have such a constipated person as your boss, walking around with clenched sphincters is obviously part of the job.

  23. No doubt the same thing that made Harper go on an erroneous attack at the G8. Something in his personality that he can't control and which brings out the worst in those who work for him.

  24. This is why people do not like the Conservatives. Just apologize and move on. The spelling mistake is no big deal.

    NAMING THE OTHER MPs and MEDIA OUTLETS who have also done it???

    I believe this country is doomed, or at least, stuck in banality forever.

  25. This is why people do not like the Conservatives. Just apologize and move on. The spelling mistake is no big deal.

    NAMING THE OTHER MPs and MEDIA OUTLETS who have also done it???

    I now believe this country is doomed, or at least, stuck in banality forever. The PMO communications office is its own worst enemy.

  26. Look at the positive side … we all learned a new word we can use in political discourse. Next time I get a ten percenter I'm sending it back to the friggin Iqualuit who sent it!

  27. Speaking of spell & grammar check, there is a good program Grammar Check Anywhere (SpellCheckAnywhere.Com) it adds spell & grammar check to all programs.

  28. The real lesson of this story, if there is one at all, is how unfamiliar most of us are with Northern Canada.

    If the typo had been related to a trip to Vancoover, Edminton, Mountreal or Halifaxe I'm sure it wouldn't have passed by so many eyes unnoticed.

    If we don't even know how to properly spell the name of one of our capitals, how much else are we unaware of?

  29. The difference is that Kady has herself, and perhaps one other person who proofreads her work. The PMO has the powers of the entire federal government to make sure that they dont offend everyone they meet (which they manage to do every time the PM is let out of his office).

  30. How can people ignore this typo when they're carbon-bonded to the tabloid stand to see if Brangelina will stay together for the kids!

    It's not a silly story, it's pop-culture. If you critical elitists don't like it then find yourselves another tabloid magazine.

  31. My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.
    A. A. Milne

  32. bad spelling on the internet comes from all the information we are swamped with all the time these days: we just don't take the time to slow down and spell correctly that much anymore.

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