The Guardian reports that publisher Penguin Australia has been left with egg on its face after it was revealed that a recipe for Tagliatelle with Sardines and Prosciutto from their book The Pasta Bible, called for the inclusion of ‘salt and freshly ground black people’. 7000 copies of the book have been withdrawn.

Penguin’s head of publishing, Robert Sessions, blamed the gaff on a spellcheck program, and said that proofreaders missed it because they were probably more concerned with checking ingredient quantities.1 Sessions called the mistake a typo, but I’m thinking that these kinds of episodes, where spellcheck programs offer whole alternative words to the one that is meant, should have a new name. Wordo? Hmm… a bit clunky… Suggestions?

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*Thanks to Violet Towne for spotting it in The Guardian and to my guest sub-editor King Willy for the fabulous headline.

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  1. Rather than the ingredients per se, I guess… []