In a little over a month in power, the Trump administration has been bumping up against some common and persistent foes: misspellings, typos and assorted grammatical missteps.
Whether it is a wrong name (for an acting deputy attorney general or the prime minister of the United Kingdom), or a failure to distinguish your principles from your principals, the Trump administration’s struggles with proofreading are profuse. The Department of Education misspelled the name of the co-founder of the NAACP. Then it compounded the error by making another error in a follow-up tweet.
And Trump himself is no stranger to the grammatical goof.
Here are eight examples of the Trump administration’s struggles:
Dane vs. Dana: When Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigation into the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia, his statement tapped a man who doesn’t exist: “Dane Boente.” The acting deputy attorney general Sessions intended to refer to in the statement was U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana Boente.
No, Principal: When the White House wanted to highlight a press gaggle with a top deputy press secretary, it forgot the old adage of a principal being your pal. The White House release instead noted access to “White House principle deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders.”
May Mishap: Ahead of a visit from the prime minister of the United Kingdom, the White House released a detailed schedule — that repeatedly misspelled Theresa May’s first name as “Teresa.” Spotting the faux pas, the White House sent an update to the release that corrected the spelling of May’s name.
Multiple Attakers: In February, Trump argued that the press had ignored a series of terrorist attacks across the world, underplaying the terror threat. Hours later, the White House pushed out a news release that misspelled the word “attacker” 27 times by dropping the “c.” The release also dropped an “r” in referring to the city of San Bernardino, California.
DeBois Debacle: The Department of Education sought to highlight Black History Month by quoting a founding member of the NAACP, W.E.B. Du Bois — it just didn’t spell it that way. In a tweet, the department cited “W.E.B. DeBois” before posting a correction. But then, it muffed its apology, too, writing, “Post updated — our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo.”
One To Many: A pre-inauguration poster for sale by the Library of Congress contained a quote from President Donald Trump — with a classic to/too error. “No dream is too big, no challenge is to great,” the poster quoted Trump, in part. After the error was spotted it was removed from the Library of Congress website.
A Historical Problem: The poster wasn’t the Trump government’s only foray into grammatical errors during the inauguration. As she watched Trump’s swearing in, Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos tweeted her excitement — and made a hash of the distinction between “historic” and “historical.” “Honored to witness the historical inauguration and swearing-in ceremony for the 45th president of the United States,” she tweeted.
Hear By, Hearby, Hereby: Trump’s team stumbled in its attempt to mock House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for claiming she had never met with the Russian ambassador, despite photographic proof that showed otherwise. “I hear by demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it,” Trump’s personal account tweeted, before correcting the tweet to say “hearby” and then finally “hereby.”
A Day Won Problem: Trump’s first day in office foretold the foibles to come: In a tweet expressing his enthusiasm for the job, Trump misspelled “honored,” writing, “I am honered to serve you, the great American people, as your 45 President of the United States!” The error was significant enough that Merriam-Webster itself chimed in to explain what a “honer” does.