"Ridicule is nothing to be scared of, don't you ever, don't you ever stop being dandy."
Lawyers are mashing the keyboard with their eyes shut and pressing 'send' far more often than previously thought, legal practitioners have revealed.
After a recent item on written errors, RollOnFriday received a flood of hair-raising typos.
Names appear to be particularly difficult. One lawyer confessed to emailing an important client called Titus using the over-familiar greeting, "Dear Tits", while another greeted a "rather portly chap" named Hugh, "Dear Huge".
At least they came across as confident, unlike the lawyer who fired off a rebuttal to the opposing side prematurely and just sent, "Dear John, I am afraid".
Other fine specimens included:
- "Apologies, I have been extremely busty."
- "My client is Adam Ant."
- "I'll do my beast."
- "Please let us know if you wish to discus."
- "The child suffers from Asparagus Syndrome."
- "My client's actions were just a fireball."
- “I enclose these documents for the Judge's funeral.”
Some typos imbued messages with menacing overtones, such as the sinister "Dead sirs", the replacement of the term 'the headlessors' with "the headless horse", and the PA's translation of 'with kind regards' to "We sent the photographs".
However, there was plenty of room for straightforwardly insulting mistakes, such as, "Please include the dull details of your accident", "We look forward to assfisting you", "The data room is shit", "I have received your daft agreement" and the terrifying disclosure that, "The premium is renewed anally."
It's not just lawyers with wayward digits. A real estate associate who annoyed her PA didn't check the lease when it came back with her amendments typed in, and sent it off to the solicitor on the other side. "Who noticed that all the references to “common parts” had been transformed into 'common farts'", said the source. "Treat your PAs well".
If there is such a thing as an aural typo, an unlucky PA was apparently fired for one. "She was working for a partner who had been involved in a lengthy, complex and lucrative series of transactions involving an old, historic building”, said a source. “The partner had said into his dictaphone 'Right then Mary, that's it, our job is done. All I need you to do now is schedule the leases, and then I'll take us all out for lunch'. What Mary heard was, 'All I need you to do now is shred all the leases’”.
Sign-offs are notoriously tricky, and several lawyers said they had fallen into the "Kind retards" trap. One lawyer said they discovered a missing ‘not’ in a template, which meant that for years their firm had been ending all its client letters, "Please do hesitate to contact us".
Client-facing errors are regrettable, but an internal comms mishap can also be mortifying. A trainee tasked with recovering the office football team's strip emailed everyone, "If you have a shit, please leave it on my desk". Another lawyer said he replied to a female advocate's invitation for a coffee and catch-up before a hearing "with the godawful typo: 'Sounds good, let me know which venue takes your fanny'".
On occasion, however, typos can be accidentally honest. "I was delighted at my old firm to receive a firm-wide email alerting us that, 'There has been a power cunt in the London office'", said a lawyer. "Hardly anyone noticed until IT sent an apology email minutes later... Also, there were a lot of power c*nts in the London office".
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