Do you know what a sonobuoy is? It’s a listening device dropped into the ocean, usually to help locate enemy submarines. The word sonobuoy comes from sonar and buoy.

So far, so good. Recently my son and I visited the USS Hornet museum in Alameda — it’s an aircraft carrier that served in World War II and the Vietnam War. While strolling among the aircraft displayed on the enormous flight deck, I found that the navy had misspelled sonobuoy on one of its antisubmarine planes! At least they were consistent — it was spelled sonobouy on both sides!

My copyeditor’s curse has struck again! All those years as an editor and I can’t stop finding spelling mistakes everywhere.

Admittedly, English spelling is ridiculous and it’s not surprising that someone spelled it wrong while painting it on the aircraft.

How do you spell sonobuoy?

How do you spell sonobuoy?

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