Quorum of the Twelve . . . uh, Something-or-Others

I hardly find anything on TV that is truly laugh-out-loud funny, with the exception of Jay Leno’s “Headlines” segment that he does every Monday night on “The Tonight Show.”

For those unfamiliar with the bit, the premise is that people across the country send in newspaper articles and print advertisements with funny typos, botched Photoshop jobs, or simply bizarre content, and Jay holds them up in front of the camera for all the world to see. It’s one of the few segments on the show that tends to write itself, actually.

Well, here’s another example in that vein, although I doubt it would make Leno’s program (or that his audience would find the humor in it). The Daily Universe, BYU’s bastion of student journalism, appropriately gave this past weekend’s General Conference the front-page treatment. However, shortly after the morning papers were delivered to newsstands all over campus, all copies were abruptly pulled and a notice placed in its stead: because of a typo, all papers had been recalled. They would be reprinted and delivered by the afternoon.

So, what was the nature of the offending typo? One student managed to find a copy of the paper and found out:

The only thing that could possibly match the typo for hilarity was the newspaper’s official response. Here’s the first attempt:

In printed copies of Monday’s Daily Universe, due to a spelling error in a photo caption, the word “apostles” was replaced with a different word. The Daily Universe apologizes to the Quorum of the Twelve and our readers for the error.

And the second, lengthier explanation:

The Daily Universe took the extraordinary step Monday of recalling all its 18,500 copies from newsstands around campus and the community to reprint the entire 14-page issue because of a typographical error on the front page.

A spelling error appeared in a photo caption in which the word “apostle” was rendered as “apostate.” In referring to activities at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last weekend, the caption read in part, “Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostates and other general authorities raise their hands in a sustaining vote. . . .”

Once the mistake was noticed, all available copies of the newspaper were removed from the racks and replaced with a sign directing students to view the paper online, said Brad Rawlins, chair of the Department of Communications.

“We are reprinting the paper and we will have the corrected version back on the racks by mid-afternoon,” Rawlins said. “This shows the deep concern we have on the matter. We don’t think this error is glib or cute or humorous. We understand people will take offense to the error. We ourselves are offended as a department for this error. We have a deep regret that it appeared in today’s paper.”

The misspelling was an unintentional error, said Rich Evans, editorial manager for The Daily Universe.

“Our copy editor in charge of the front page, who was under deadline pressure, was using spell check on her page and had misspelled the word apostle,” Evans said. “One of the first options that came up on InDesign’s spell check suggestions was the word apostate. Unfortunately that’s the one she clicked on. It still should have been caught by two more levels of review after that, but again with deadline looming, the worst possible thing happened.”

Wow. Am I the only one who thought that typo was hilarious? Of course the newspaper acted appropriately in fixing and apologizing for the error. But it seems quite obvious to me that this was a silly mistake. I sure hope at least a few members of the Twelve are chuckling about this too. If not, perhaps it would be well for all of us to review the following paragraphs from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s final conference talk from last October:

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness. […]

The first thing we can do is learn to laugh. Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?

There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh. […]

The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.

For all the time we’ve spent eulogizing the man since his death last December, you’d think we might start applying his counsel more often. This kind of inadvertent offense is hardly on the same scale as the type of stuff for which people receive official discipline from the Church.

6 Responses to “Quorum of the Twelve . . . uh, Something-or-Others”

  1. KSL ran this last night with laughter. I’m glad about that because both Terrel and I laughed our heads off when we saw it! I agree that a lot of people need to learn to lighten up nowadays. Great article!

  2. Very well said. I really miss that man.

  3. I know this is really nerdy of me, but I have been experimenting with the spell check on both Word and InDesign, and I haven’t been able to misspell “apostle” in a way that brings “apostate” up. In InDesign, spelling it “apostal” made “apostate” like the tenth option, but that seems like an unlikely way to accidentally select the wrong word. The situation is still really funny, and yes, people need to lighten up, but I am a little skeptical about the explanation. Maybe I’m becoming a conspiracy theorist.

  4. Ami, I’m nerdy, too. :) I tried it in Word. If you type “Apostales” (add an extra “a” into Apostle), the first choice is “Apostles” and the second is “Apostates.” Now I wouldn’t naturally spell it that way, but that doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t. :) And I guess the Spanish way to spell it is “Apóstoles” (extra syllable in there), so maybe that had something to do with it? Or maybe just a mess up (“a” is pretty easy to accidentally press). Or maybe a mischievous employee. :) I could buy it either way, honestly.

    I’m sure glad I’m not the one who misspelled it in the paper, though. :)

  5. Hmmm, from one who has been the victim of the open cupboard door more than a few times………..this one is more than funny. The mistake is one thing, but the way it was handled and the explanation just makes it hilarious.

  6. The 6 month pics of Kathryn are really sweet. Seems like you’re loving your mommy-ness–always fun to see :) Loves from the Costleys down yonder.

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