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A troubling typo on Eric Schmidt’s Business-card

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The Browser (CNN.MONEY.com off-shot) has just published the following article – I thought it would be worth sharing with you, especially since both CNN and The Browser have confirmed the authenticity of the Business-card. So, here it goes:


The typo on Schmidt’s business card is perplexing. This is a $144-billion company, world headquarters for information management, and yet there, in just 21 words, is a typo. Strange. “Amphitheatre” and “Committee,” two spelling bee candidates, are written correctly, but “Chairman” is not. The card says “Chariman.”

A few possible explanations:

  • It’s rumored Google has been working on a form of communication, called “Googlish,” to replace all the world’s languages. It has its own grammar, vocabulary, and spelling rules, such as “I before R except after A.” That’s why “Chairman” appears as “Chairman“ (whoops, thanks, dear reader) “Chariman”.
  • The name “Google” actually comes from “googol,” misspelled. So intentional misspellings are part of Google’s culture.
  • Some religions believe only God, and not man, creates perfection. Persian rugs are deliberately flawed so as not to offend God; typos in Google business cards are there for the same reason.
  • An upside down U.S. flag is a distress signal. Similarly, a business card with two letters reversed is code of “Help, I’m in trouble.” Eric Schmidt may be trying to tell us something.
  • Google uses challenging math problems such as “first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e” to lure bright new potential employees. The typo on Schmidt’s business card is that kind of test: spot it, solve it, get a job.
  • Googling “Chariman” produces 238,000 responses. “Chariman” is a title appearing with some frequency in organizations; a Mr. Fravel is Chariman of the NTRA Board of Directors, and the Chariman of Hyundai was recently indicted for embezzlement. The bosses of two major league baseball teams (the Mets and Cardinals) show the title of “Chariman.” Maybe Schmidt actually is Chariman of Google.
  • Or, paraphrasing Sigmund Freud, “Sometimes a typo is only a typo.”–MK


    Written by markusw

    February 26, 2007 at 3:22 pm

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