Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Public Signs, Proofreading, You Know the Drill

We've tackled word errors in a promotional poster, a cookbook, and an inscription. Today we take on public signs. In Lewisham, South London, a keen-sighted law student spotted a huge "typo" on a road sign, according to

Yee Shun Fung, of Courthill Road, Hither Green, was enjoying some spring retail therapy when she noticed a rather peculiar spelling of the word 'central' on a roundabout sign outside Beaumont Beds.

In British English, a cental is a unit of weight equal to 112 pounds. It's a good thing not many Londoners were confused by having a unit of measurement mixed in with the names of places. This is the sort of error that you would expect from an English sign in a place like China or Korea, where people aren't that proficient in English, but you would expect better from a place like London.

The article reports that Transport for London will correct the mistake within the next week. Maybe they need to hire a full-time proofreader as well?

(photo also taken from


  1. Hi, I've only just come across your blog, so this comment may appear to be a little late!

    I don't know whether they've fixed the sign's spelling error yet, but surely there's another error.

    The odd indenting of "Cental" and non-indenting of London is surely wrong, whereas the format used for "Blackwall Tunnel" looks much better.

    I often wonder who, if anyone, proofreads road signs. I'm sure we all suspect the same: no one!

    Garry (Weysider) ( & & others)