How Can We Take The Trump Administration Seriously When It Can't Even Spell?

You know it's gotten bad when the dictionary feels the need to weigh in.

In January, less than 24 hours after becoming president, Donald Trump sent out a tweet telling the nation he was ready to lead. He seemed to follow a simple checklist:

  • Tell the constituents they’re awesome.

  • Remind them of your job title.

  • Throw in a few words about honor and service.

Easy enough. The 18-word tweet dropped just before noon.

“I am honered to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States!” Trump wrote, deterred neither by auto-correct nor the red line that likely appeared under “honered,” imploring him to take closer look.

It was an impressive typo. Nearly half of the words in that tweet contained three letters or fewer. The longest words were “American” and “President.” Honor, a fourth-grade vocab word, is the only one that could have presented any sort of challenge. It’s hard to understand how something like this could have happened, but this visual aid may help explain what was going on in Trump’s head when he pressed send:

Trump deleted and reposted the tweet minutes later, this time with “honored” spelled correctly. But this was not a one-off mistake. Typo-ridden tweets ― including one in which he invented the word “unpresidented” ― have become par for the course, leading to the disturbing conclusion that nobody looks at the president’s tweets before he sends them.

His sloppiness appears to have set a tone for his administration, with the White House including a series of embarrassing misspellings in official releases. If these blunders are any indication, attention to detail is not the Trump administration’s strong suit. It’s gotten so bad that the dictionary itself has felt compelled to weigh in on multiple occasions.

Look, everybody makes mistakes. To err is human. But to err with such a cavalier disregard for your own reputation is pretty damn irresponsible. And it’s no longer just a question of whether Trump and the people in his administration have a solid command of grade-school spelling. If nobody is copy-editing these dispatches, how can we be sure anybody is editing them for content, either?

An intelligence report that didn’t look very intelligent

Earlier this month, the White House released a list of 78 supposedly “unreported” acts of terrorism that Muslims had carried out around the world over the last three years. The document lacked factual basis in many areas, as it included a number of incidents that were major news stories when they occurred. It also contained some glaring typos, which made it even easier for critics to laugh off the argument the administration was attempting to make.

This, for example, is not how you spell San Bernardino, California.

White House

Nor is that how you spell “attacker.” The document contained this misspelling a bunch of times throughout.

If the “H” is silent, is it really necessary?

Theresa May is the prime minister of the United Kingdom. Teresa May is a softcore porn star. Accuracy matters. But last month, the White House dropped the “h” at least three separate times while referring to a guest Trump had “honered.”

White House

Department of Edumacation

The U.S. Department of Education is part of Trump’s executive branch. It’s also a department that should understand the importance of proofreading and, well, knowing stuff. Or, at the very least, trying to look like you do.

In a tweet over the weekend, just days after billionaire GOP donor Betsy DeVos took the reins as secretary following a heated confirmation process, the agency attempted to pay tribute to renowned civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois.

The department later acknowledged the mistake with another tweet ― and another typo.

“Post updated - our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo,” read the now-deleted tweet.

Names are hard

Who is this “Richard Tumka” you speak of?

That would be Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. It’s sort of surprising they didn’t go with the “Trumpka” misspelling.

‘Columbia’ is not a country

The White House made one of the most common and most commonly ridiculed geographical typos on Monday, when it referred to the nation of “Columbia.” It’s Colombia. Dios mio.

‘It’s Kirsten’

A Trump campaign email in March attacked a group of 16 “radical liberals” in Congress who had announced plans to block the president’s new travel ban. The list left plenty of room for error.

What’s The Name Of This Group? No, Seriously.

To everybody in the Trump administration: Proofreading is important. Not as important as keeping the White House free from improper foreign influence, but still important. Stop humiliating yourselves and stop embarrassing us all.

This article has been updated with additional examples of spelling and proofreading errors.

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