The Best Lesson from Graduation Season That Didn’t Come From the Commencement Speaker

As someone who is in the process of earning a degree in communications, I cannot tell you how many times I am reminded to proofread, proofread, proofread. In my PR writing class, five points were taken off of assignment grades for each spelling error and AP style proofreading quizzes were a weekly activity. I am ashamed to say that even after this training, I still make mistakes, definitely much more often than I should. However, even I would like to think I would catch an error such as the one made by the University of Texas in the program for their recent commencement exercises. Graduates, families and friends were gathered to celebrate all of their hard work — only to find that they were actually graduating from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Pubic Affairs. Yep, you read that right. (And I laugh a little to myself as Microsoft Word is trying to correct that to Public, as it should be.)

While a simple typo doesn’t (usually) hurt anyone or cause any permanent, life-long damage, you can bet that one like this has definitely caused a bit of an uproar; let’s just say I certainly don’t want to know the employment status of the individual assigned to design the program. Another interesting tid-bit: the Assistant Dean of Communications for the school said their biggest fear is being mocked on The Daily Show. In the off-chance that Jon Stewart hadn’t noticed, he has now.

So let this be the final lesson learned to all the graduates of the LBJ School of Public Affairs: Proofread, proofread, proofread.

P.S. In case you are overly concerned, the school is reprinting the program with the correct spelling and redistributing it to all graduates and family. In my opinion, the originals are a much better story and adequately livened up an otherwise extremely boring five hour ceremony.

Posted by Kate S.

Image source The Huffington Post

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