Origins: Mistakes in the creation of coins and currency generally fall into one of two classes: stamping or printing errors (such as images appearing off-center, partially blank, or upside-down) and mistakes in the original design (such as misspellings and anachronisms). Collectors love the former because such errors are usually rare and therefore of great value; ordinary folks revel in the latter because it demonstrates that even the all-powerful government can make really dumb mistakes.
Both of these aspects have come into play with the recent introduction of a newly-redesigned Canadian $10 bill. The design for the back of this note is based upon the theme "Remembrance and Peacekeeping" and includes among its elements the first verse of John McCrae's 1915 poem "In Flanders Fields":
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
The new $10 bill has prompted scores of complaints from Canadians who maintain that the poem has been misprinted; that the first line should be "In Flanders fields the poppies grow." This, in turn, has led to rumors that the Bank of Canada is recalling the new notes in order to destroy them and replace them with corrected versions.
As much as
Okay, so they got it right, and we've been getting it wrong all these years. Ick.
The appeal of such a rumor isn't hard to understand
Last updated: 16 May 2011
Granfield, Linda. In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae. Toronto: Lester Publishing, 1995. ISBN 1-895555-65-5. Oliver, Dean F. and Serge Durflinger. "McCrae and the $10 Bill." The [Montreal] Gazette. 13 March 2001 (p. B3). The [Montreal] Gazette. "New $10 Bill Unveiled." 18 January 2001 (p. A10).