Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spelling gaffe turns city into 'unwiped bottom'

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper faced embarrassing moments when his office issued a press release mis-spelling the name of a provincial capital he was visiting. But it was no ordinary mistake. It was a gaffe which turned the name of the city into 'unwiped bottom'.

This happened during Harper's visit to the country's Arctic territory of Nunavat.

He was in the provincial capital of Iqaluit to announce development projects when the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) issued the press release with Iqaluit spelt as Iqualuit.

The error left the residents flabbergasted.

Because the extra 'u' changed the meaning of the city to unwiped bottom.

"It means people with unwiped bums," Sandra Inutiq of the office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut was quoted as saying.

"It's not exactly a nice term," she said.

The Prime Minister's office apologised for the gaffe, calling it a human error that might teach Canadians an important lesson about spelling mistakes, agency reports said.

"Hopefully this unfortunate typo, which we have corrected, will inform the greater public that there is no (extra) 'u' in Iqaluit," PMO spokesman Dimitri Soudas was quoted as saying.

Major Canadian media outlets also misspelt Iqaluit as Iqualuit.