Over the last several years, critics of Donald Trump have wondered why the president still lacks a proofreader. His Twitter provides unfettered access to hundreds of misspellings and grammatical errors that his detractors often present as evidence of his incompetence.
There are theories. According to a May 2018 report from The Boston Globe, Trump and his aides deliberately tweet out fragmented sentences, misspelled words, and randomly capitalized letters in a calculated effort to appeal to the anti-Hollywood-elite “Common Man.”
“Some staff members even relish the scoldings Trump gets from elites shocked by the Trumpian language they strive to imitate, believing that debates over presidential typos fortify the belief within his base that he has the common touch,” wrote Annie Linskey for The Globe.
Whatever the case, the latest mistake-ridden and fussed-over Trump tweet arrived on Monday morning, when the septuagenarian shared a quote from a recent Fox News report to his 50 million followers in which he twice misspelled the word “smoking.”
“Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. No Smocking Gun…No Collusion,'” the president wrote of Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation. “That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,…”
“Smocking Gun” pic.twitter.com/zAhsDBOtFI
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) December 10, 2018
The words “Smocking Gun” quickly began to trend on Twitter and Google searches for the term “smocking gun” surged.
2. Coverage (?)
In the early hours of May 31, 2017, the president tweeted out the following now-infamous partial sentence:
“Despite the negative press covfefe,” read the tweet read. That’s it. It was deleted soon afterwards, but rather than ignoring it, Trump doubled down. “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’ ??? Enjoy!” he tweeted six hours later.
Then Press-Secretary Sean Spicer said, “I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.” What he meant, apparently, was “coverage.”
The president’s aversion to proofreading makes him an easy victim of autocorrect. The most beloved of which was his announcement that his wife, “Melanie,” had returned home (“Melanie” being a common correction for “Melania.”)
More unfortunate is the fact that Trump uses his wife’s name so infrequently, his phone has yet to recognize it.
Trump spiraled into a fit of Twitter rage directed at special counsel Robert Mueller in late August, incorrectly spelling it as “councel” repeatedly.
In fact, the president tweeted “councel” in place of “counsel” at least a dozen times since May, when Mueller was appointed special counsel. (“With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!” he raged on May 18.)
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) December 17, 2016
The president substituted the made-up word ‘unpresidented’ for ‘unprecedented’ in a since-deleted December 17, 2016 tweet, confirming that his rage robs him both of courtesy and the ability to see the red squiggles signifying a spelling error.
“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act,” he tweeted.
Trump accused former President Barack Obama of conducting surveillance on Trump Tower in order to undermine his presidency, misspelling the word “tap” in the process.
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” tweeted the president on March 4, 2017.
The president has yet to learn the difference between the words “principal” vs. “principle,” as evidenced by this since-corrected tweet from March 7.
“Buy American & hire American are the principals at the core of my agenda, which is: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Thank you @exxonmobil,” he tweeted.
8. Marine Corps
Trump referred to the Marine Corps as the Marine “Core” the same day he proposed the United States develop a “Space Force.” Unsure how space soldiers feel about the proposed new military branch, but those on earth were upset over the spelling error they believed the commander-in-chief should’ve known better than to make.
— Common Defense #VetsAgainstTrump (@commondefense) March 14, 2018
Trump misspelled the word “honored” twice, both on monumentally embarrassing occasions. The first was on his inauguration, when he wrote he was “honered” to serve as the 45th president.
He made the same error while proclaiming himself winner of a debate in February 2016. “Wow, every poll said I won the debate last night. Great honer!” he tweeted. Both tweets were later deleted.
Trump, calling for an investigation into House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s relationship with Russia in a March 3 2017 tweet, struggled in spelling “hereby” correctly. Twice.
“I hear by demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it,” he wrote, before correcting the tweet to read “hearby” and, eventually, to the proper “hereby.”