Back in 2017, a number of tweets circulated ostensibly showing a Facebook embed of a BBC headline with an unfortunate typo. An example of such a Tweet:


Many more tweets about this typo can be found when searching Twitter for the hashtag #analcyst.

The relevant part of the image is found below:

A picture of Nigel Farage, a prominent UK politician, with below it the headline "Nigel Farage hired by Fox News as a political analcyst - BBC News"

The claim is repeated (without a screenshot) by The New European:

He was the subject of the most unfortunate, and yet the most accurate, typo in recent history on the BBC News website: 'Nigel Farage hired by Fox News as a political analcyst'.

In addition, aplin.co.uk claims that

Although the Beeb [BBC] were very quick to update the headline at their end, they weren’t quite so prompt in getting Facebook to refresh the headline that it automatically grabs.

The end result was that their many, many, many Facebook followers were presented with this absolute gem of a howler.

The original article at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38695203 has the correct spelling, but did the headline ever include the typo?

  • 3
    The earliest webarchive version has analyst, which would suggest if there was an error, it was corrected in the two hours before it was archived, not proving the point either way
    – Henry
    Jan 30, 2021 at 13:05
  • I've seen typos on the BBC but I can't remember any that would not have been caught by a dictionary spell check (as opposed to a grammar check like the "atomic typos"). Since "analcyst" is not a dictionary word, the claim looks a bit implausible to me. Jan 30, 2021 at 21:09
  • This has the feel of a joke, and thus Poe enticed you to question the reality of it.
    – user11643
    Jan 31, 2021 at 19:27
  • I see there are some versions in which it's claimed Fox News made this typo. google.com/… So it does seem like an urban legend. Jan 31, 2021 at 20:31
  • I'm on the same side of the urban legend side. The letter c on the keyboard is nowhere near the l or y keys on the keyboard. Hell they're not even the same hand. The only letter close is the s, but it's the wrong finger and the s is on the home row.
    – DenisS
    Feb 1, 2021 at 16:01


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