Geez, Who peed in your Pepsi?: Typo Causes Uproar

I wanted to start my column off with a topic that is very familiar to me and to other writers, editors and publishers. It’s the dreaded typo. I never could have guessed a typo would cause such a problem for one publisher.

Due to a typo that caused outrage, a publisher had to reprint 7,000 copies of a cookbook called The Pasta Bible. The pasta recipe called for ‘salt and freshly ground black pepper,’ but instead, due to a typo, it was printed as ‘salt and freshly ground black people.’

Wow, I didn’t know that cannibals ate pasta.

The article did not reveal the identity of the enraged party.

This story really got to me because I know how difficult it is to find every typo or grammatical error in a manuscript even after reading it over and over again. A great editor will find most errors, but editors are human and can miss something. And spell check would not have caught this type of error because ‘people’ is an accepted word and spelled correctly. Sure, this is an embarrassment for the editor and the publishing company, but to make it more than that is ludicrous to me.

Mistakes happen. Live with it. The typo in The Pasta Bible is a silly, unintentional error, and I don’t understand why someone would become upset over it. I doubt that a group of cannibals are trying to push their recipes on unsuspecting individuals. As a society, are we really so sensitive that we cannot just laugh this off? Whatever happened to the days when we just brushed off a negative comment? Now, we cause a stink over every little thing that happens, suing people over trivial matters like this.

The reprint cost the publisher $18,500. What a waste of time and money. The good side to this situation for the publisher is that due to the typo, this book is sure to be a best seller. The books that were already shipped out with the typo will probably be a collector’s item someday. I am sure there will also be some people that will demand a replacement book because the typo bothers them.

Do you think people are just too sensitive these days and are too quick to get angry, especially over something so ridiculous as a typo? Are there any cannibals out there offended by this?

Kelley Heckart

‘Timeless tales of romance, conflict and magic’

4 thoughts on “Geez, Who peed in your Pepsi?: Typo Causes Uproar”

  1. I agree with you, Kelley. Before I go off on someone or something, I give it the 5 year test. How will it matter in five years? Most things don’t. Some do, and those are the things worth getting upset over.


  2. In my opinion we’ve become an overly sensitive society of people where the slightest thing will set us off. This is why we’ve ended up with a generation of kids who have no idea how to walk away from confrontation. The younger generation have been molly-coddled as my departed mother used to say.

    It’s not just lawsuits. Just recently in a local high school here two boys who had dated the same girl got in a confrontation. Her old boyfriend refused to just move on and demanded the new boyfriend give her back to him. When the boy kind of laughed it off (after all they’d been friends since kindergarten) the other boy stabbed his friend in a fury over being laughed at. Luckily the victim survived.

    I learned early on that sarcasm worked well for me when it came to confusing people. One of my fav stories to tell happened when I was working for a restaurant in my 20’s. One guy wanted to impress his “friends” so he was constantly making snide comments about my weight (I’m a plump lady with junk in the trunk). After a couple of months of this constant commentary on the size of my rear compartment I’d had enough. This is how the conversation went down:

    Guy: Boy, I think your a** is getting bigger. Damn it’s huge!

    Me: *giving guy hairy eyeball* Excuse, me?

    Guy: *laughing* You heard me–HUGE!

    Me: Who are you telling? I’m the one that has to buy bloomers to fit it. *goes back to work*

    Guy: *silence* O_o

    Me: What?

    Guy: You shouldn’t say things like that about yourself.

    Me: Why not? You just did.

    Guy: O_O

    Just to let you know after that conversation he didn’t say anything else. Actually, we became very good friends.

    Sensitivity needs to be tempered with intelligence not lawsuits or violence. I find sarcasm works quite nicely.

    *skips off to pee in someone’s Pepsi*


  3. Yeah, it seems that kids are more coddled today by our society.

    What gets to me is when all this ‘political correctness’ effects what a writer can and cannot write about. Even writing a story set in a time period when the ‘N’ word was used is looked down upon and might not get published because it might offend someone.

    I just recently watched Gran Torino and I’m glad the writers didn’t sugar coat this movie because the movie would have sucked had they done that. It would have lost its realism.

    All I can say is, “Chill out!”


    1. You know those WORDS people are so sensitive about have become their very crutch. And that’s not just the N word, or the C word, or any other word…its all words. WE GIVE THOSE WORDS POWER, when we kick up such a fuss. When we allow those words to hurt us. We give the word and the one using it POWER.

      So for those who are sensitive about a certain subject or WORD, chill out, and make them into something FUNNY. If we do…those who want to hurt us cant, those who are hurt will be laughing instead, and no one will give a crap or will use them any more because it will be pointless.


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