Divine inspiration wasn’t enough to get the Vatican out of an embarrassing typographical hole earlier this month, after the word ‘Jesus’ – that’s right, the bearded fella on whose teachings the whole of Christendom is based – was misspelled on a series of commemorative coins.
The medals were commissioned to celebrate the first year of Pope Francis’s papacy. Created by the Italian State Mint, they had the Pope’s official motto printed around the edge of the coin in Latin, but some clumsy-thumbed coin printing buffoon accidentally inscribed ‘Lesus’ instead of ‘Jesus’.
The Latin phrase translated into English means: “Jesus, therefore, saw the publican, and because he saw by having mercy and by choosing, He said to him, ‘Follow me.” Apparently, this is the biblical phrase that moved the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio – aka Pope Francis – when he followed his calling to become a priest. Not the catchiest of phrases if you ask us, but there’s no accounting for taste. What calls one man to the priesthood, sends another running for the grammar book.
Fortunately, only around four of the 6,000 misspelled bronze, silver and gold medals were sold before the error was spotted. Which means four lucky collectors have a potentially very valuable medal on their hands.
Now, as another popular biblical phrases goes, ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ And it’s true that as a copywriting agency that writes thousands of words a week, we’ve probably committed more than our fair share of typos. But even we have never known one on this scale.
God, indeed, works in mysterious ways.
Copywriting word of the month – bimonthly
Does ‘bimonthly’ mean ‘twice a month’ or ‘every two months’, or both?
Unfortunately for copywriters everywhere, it means both. In some industries, like the publishing and copywriting industry, it’s more common for it to be used to mean ‘every two months’. So a bimonthly copywriting newsletter is one that is published every two months. But it’s not consistent and you never know for sure what it means in any given situation.
It’s the same for biweekly and biannually, as well. And obviously the difference in meaning is not one you want to get wrong, or you could be waiting a long time for that biannual copywriting magazine.
To avoid any ambiguity, it’s best to use a more specific phrases in your copywriting, such as ‘twice a year’ or ‘every two months’, and then everyone knows exactly what you mean.