I read this on redcross.org

It says:

Q: What is the different between COVID-19 antibodies that you develop from exposure to the virus and antibodies you develop as a reaction to the vaccine?

I thought redcross.org should be a very professional website and their editors should be very good English native speakers. So I am wondering whether the word "different" should be "difference"?


1 Answer 1


Yes, that's a typo. "What is the difference" would be correct.

Typos can slip in even in the most professional writing, but things on the internet exist on a wide spectrum of formality. The page you linked is decently well-written, but not by someone formally educated in professional writing, as evidenced by the awkward repetition of "an individual" in the same section and a missing comma a few paragraphs later.

Nobody's perfect. The Red Cross runs on volunteers and donations, and it makes sense that they'd hire a reasonably competent writer but no proofreader. I've seen far worse from similar online sources.

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    For what it's worth, the error could also be that the the is extraneous. What probably happened here is that the writer was considering "What is different.." and "What is the difference..." and then accidentally combined the two.
    – Dancrumb
    Sep 12, 2021 at 17:28
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    "Typos can slip in even in the most professional writing..." - one of my favorite small joys in life is finding typos in professional publications. The more professional, and "important" the document/book, the better. I'd say a typo like this on RedCross is a great find!
    – BruceWayne
    Sep 12, 2021 at 19:15
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    @nick012000 I think the point is that said employee wouldn't be paid highly, and they wouldn't pay additionally for a proofreader. There might not even be a dedicated web site writer, it could just be something done on the side by someone with other responsibilities.
    – Barmar
    Sep 13, 2021 at 13:56
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    @nick012000 the person 'coding their website' may not have been involved. After all, the person/s coding StackExchange is/are not involved in the posting of this comment.
    – NPSF3000
    Sep 13, 2021 at 15:44
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    @Dancrumb It could also arise easily from a careless attempt to edit "What is different" to "What is the difference" or vice versa. Sep 13, 2021 at 21:37

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