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Take note: Even the Reserve Bank of Australia needs sub-editors

Central banks have a lot to do, so it's no surprise things get overlooked once in a while.


Central banks have a lot to do – controlling the money supply, setting interest rates, being the custodian of foreign exchange – so it’s no surprise that things get overlooked once in a while. But it’s a bit of a shame to find you have a typo on your legal tender.

It emerged this week that the A$50 note, which has been in circulation since October and so far has 46 million notes out there changing hands, has a spelling mistake on it.

We should say that it’s in extremely small print, which is why it has taken the nation half a year to notice (listeners to radio station MMM were the ones who cracked it). One side of the note has Edith Cowan, Australia’s first female MP, on it, with a maternity hospital that she helped establish behind her. The footpath between the two is made up of a repeated phrase in tiny lettering, including the line “It is a great responsibility to be the only woman here”.

Except, it doesn’t say responsibility. It says responsibilty. There’s an “i” missing.

“The spelling will be corrected at the next print run,” said the Reserve Bank of Australia.

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