'People with unwiped bums'

The Prime Minister’s team learns that spelling is hard. And important.

An unfortunate blunder by the Prime Minister’s Office has residents of Nunavut alternately chuckling and cringing. A news release sent out Monday outlined Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s itinerary as he began a five-day tour of the North.

The release repeatedly spelled the capital of Nunavut as Iqualuit — rather than Iqaluit. The extra “u” makes a world of difference in the Inuktitut language.

Iqaluit, properly spelled, means “many fish.” Spelled with an extra “u,” the Nunavut language commissioner’s office says the word translates as a derogatory reference to “people with unwiped bums.”

The Prime Minister’s Office calls to say they’ve corrected the mistake on the PM’s website and note that various media outlets have published the same error—including, well, this one. “So hopefully our collective typos … will help better inform all of us to not make the same mistake twice,” says Dimitri Soudas, Mr. Harper’s press secretary.