beast typo

"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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Anonymous 19 November 21 10:16

A trainee in the clin neg team signed off an email to a client with "kind retards" 

Fortunately the client had a good sense of humour and laughed it off but only after a gruelling sinking of heart moment for the trainee.

In-house expat 19 November 21 10:21

Remember a story from many years ago as a trainee in Hong Kong.

In the interests of speed, the local secretaries would just type whatever they thought they heard in the dictaphone assuming, often wrongly, it would be picked up in the review.

A litigation partner quickly dictated a venomous reply to his opposite number (a short, fat angry man) in a heated dispute and opted to leave in the typo in the sign-off that read "we look forward to hearing from you camp shorty"....

Anonymous 19 November 21 10:23

Once messaged the President of my company (I work in-house) who was from Finland and whose name was "Kirsi". Just as I sent it I saw that my phone had corrected the opening to "Dear Kiddo"....a level of familiarity which we had not achieved at that point (or ever!).

Mr Sharted 19 November 21 10:39

I had a clanger emailing a client advising that we don't provide info. to the otherside until after he had sharted the diligence docs with them...

He saw the funny side at least.

JPPFanclubFounderMember 19 November 21 11:10

I once emailed a (bank) client about a troublesome customer with the subject heading: Re: Mr John Smith. The Customer's Acaunt

Luckily my clients agreed the description was accurate.

Baked Goods Gone Wrong 19 November 21 11:21

We had a PA send a firmwide email about Friday treats that she had brought in for all to enjoy. Apparently she picked up "several boxes of delicious dognuts".

Anonymous 19 November 21 16:56

Many years ago I was trying to agree a Licence for Alterations with a solicitor who was being very difficult.  After it had been returned to me once again with yet more amendments I returned it and asked if we could now agree it as all this correspondence was "merely clocking up costs".  Sadly my temporary secretary did not type clocking - she typed f*ck*ng.  Luckily I spotted it before it went out

Anonymous 19 November 21 20:09

When applying for training contracts I once told a firm that I had a "condiment personality". Needless to say that one didn't go anywhere!

Anonymous 19 November 21 21:59

Not a lawyer typo, but I recently saw in a police report "my fist contact with the accused".  At least I hope it was a typo...

Toby Greenlord, Freeman on the Cross 19 November 21 22:06

My colleagues were very excited when I arranged a conference call with Christ.

Oh how they laughed when a bloke called Chris dialled in.

Anonymous 20 November 21 22:49

Thakyou, RoF - outstanding.

I once had “this Honourable Court” come back as “dishonourable Court” from the partner’s secretary

forrin 22 November 21 06:42

"Touch Khunty" is not an uncommon transliteration of a common name in certain parts of SEA (more accurately pronounced "too-wi[k] koon-tee").

Still makes me smile when I have make contact.

Still blushing 22 November 21 23:33

I once received a call from the local County Court advising that the judge had approved my order but had asked it be resubmitted by email to be signed off. I asked why and was told through fits of laughter hat there was a key typo that needed addressing… I had missed the ‘o’ in County. 

StillHere 24 November 21 16:22

In one of my old firms, a secretary sent an office wide email asking if anyone had seen "Shitty on Contracts" as she couldn't find it.

Anonymous 01 December 21 14:47

I started off as a court clerk for a City firm and will never forget when a female senior associate asked me to “come and get tit”instead of “come and get it” in relation to an application to be filed at the Queen’s Bench Division that day. 

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