The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Another day, another spelling error, this time on the $16.95 inaugural print

Not everyone is a spelling ace, and not every minor spelling error deserves to get ridiculed in front of a national audience. After all, it’s the ideas behind the words that truly matter, not the mere assembly of letters.


Spelling is hard sometimes. Typos happen. Editors miss things. Mistakes get made. And, indeed, mistakes get corrected.

But, phew, the Trump administration’s spelling woes are just unending. And the latest may have been a bit costlier than others.

On Sunday, social media users pointed out that President Trump’s official inauguration portrait on sale at the Library of Congress had an obvious error in it. The quote on the 8-inch-by-10-inch print misspelled “too” as “to.”

“No dream is too big, no challenge is to great. Nothing we want for the future is beyond our reach,” it reads.

It’s the sort of lofty, inspirational-sounding rhetoric that every president peddles in — which means, of course, that it looks exceptionally awkward when it’s misspelled.

The print was on sale at the Library of Congress online store for $16.95 until about 9:30 p.m. Sunday night. It’s not clear how many prints, if any, were recalled over the error.

The image is credited to John Rupert, creator of the graphic design firm Celebrating America, as the New York Daily News notes. A version of the portrait on the Celebrating America website is slightly cheaper and spelled correctly.

Perhaps the only thing more embarrassing than the misspelling on the Library of Congress portrait was the description on the product page (which has been archived): “This print captures the essence of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency of the United States.”

It was a rough day for the orthographically challenged.

Earlier Sunday, someone working the U.S. Department of Education’s twitter account misspelled the name of W.E.B. Du Bois, a black civil rights luminary and co-founder of the NAACP, the country’s oldest civil rights group.

After users mocked the error on Twitter, the department tried to make things right with a follow-up tweet. Unfortunately, that one had to be fixed, too, because “our deepest apologies” was written “our deepest apologizes,” as The Washington Post reported.

The new administration was lampooned for its spelling problems last week as well. On Tuesday, the White House released a scattershot list of 78 terrorist attacks it claimed were “underreported” by the press. In addition to factual errors, it contained numerous spelling mistakes, including “attaker” instead of “attacker,” “San Bernadino” instead of “San Bernardino,” and “Denmakr” instead of “Denmark.”

As The Post’s Dana Milbank has documented, this is all nothing new.

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