A Typo That Cost a Company $5 Million


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If you think grammar is something you only need in school, you'll be surprised to find out messing it up can sometimes cost millions of dollars or make a huge difference in your personal life. Misplacing a comma, for instance, can change the meaning of a sentence dramatically. For example, note the difference between “Let’s eat (comma) Granny!” and “Let’s eat Granny!”
In 2017, Oakhurst Dairy, a company from the state of Maine, literally lost millions of bucks because of a misplaced comma. And that was not exactly the only case that proved that grammar actually rules the world.
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Oakhurst Dairy case 0:36
The “Oxford comma” explained 2:04
Court's decision 3:25
Other interesting cases:
Fruit and plants, 1872 4:25
Son and sons, 2015 5:09
The most expensive typo in history, 1962 6:02
Exotic travels gone rogue, 1988 7:02
The missing “p,” 2007 8:02
#missingcomma #hugemistake #brightside
Music by Epidemic Sound
-Truck drivers working for the company claimed they were owed overtime payment, while the company itself disagreed. According to the law, the exemptions were ... "storing, packing for shipment or distribution" of perishable foods. A missing comma makes it all a single activity.
-The “Oxford comma” is normally put before “and” or “or” in sentences where there are three or more items listed one after another.
-Each of the five truck drivers that filed the complaint received $50,000, and the rest of them (that’s about 127 people) were owed overtime pay for four years.
-By writing “fruit, plants” instead of “fruit-plants,” the US government basically waived fees for all plants instead of only fruit-bearing ones.
-In 2015, a British family business called Taylor and Sons was listed by the government as facing liquidation instead of Taylor and Son, a completely different company.
-In 1962, the missing hyphen sent the rocket bearing the probe off course and on to a dramatic crash in the Atlantic Ocean.
-In 1988, a travel agency from California decided to list its exotic travel packages in the directory as an advertisement, but Yellow Pages printed it as “erotic travels.”
-An unfortunate seller on eBay put a bottle of 1852 Allsopp’s Arctic Ale with one "p" in Allsopps. The buyer who purchased it resold it for over a half million dollars.
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