A week after his unlikely election victory, Scott Morrison set about putting his stamp on the government.
Having selected his cabinet, the Prime Minister released a statement with the names of his ministers.
And in that list was the error, which would be republished many times. So many times, in fact, that most of the officials involved now seem too embarrassed to admit it exists.
"Michaelia Cash, the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business."
Can you see it? It's a small detail, but her title should clearly be the Minister for Employment, Skills, and Small and Family Business.
Ms Cash was the first to pour concrete on the grammatical gaffe.
Within minutes of Mr Morrison's announcement, she released her own statement, saying she was "honoured to have been sworn in today as Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business" (sic ... very sic).
Three days later, the governor-general, Sir Peter Cosgrove, signed Mr Morrison's administrative arrangements order and applied the seal of the Commonwealth of Australia. The mistake was now locked into law.
(At this point, I should acknowledge that newspapers can be riddled with typos. But this is slightly more important: it's the AAO, which sets out the powers of every federal minister and department of state.)
So, is the portfolio's name unequivocally wrong? Yes, according to the head of the Australian National Dictionary Centre.
"Technically, there should be an 'and' because there are three things in this list - 'employment', 'skills', and 'small and family business'," Associate Professor Amanda Laugesen said.
"If you were writing about those three things in a sentence, you would need to include the 'and'. And, yes, you would add in the Oxford comma for clarity."
Professor Laugesen said that, after some quick research, she couldn't find similar errors in past ministry titles - something that might have explained why Ms Cash's portfolio was named that way.
"However, the reason could be that they don't want to use two 'ands' in the name of the department - the additional 'and' would add to the length of the department name (already long) and perhaps may be considered as clunky by some."
As best I can tell, no one in the bureaucracy was bold enough to try to correct either the Prime Minister or the affected minister.
Ms Cash's office seemed surprised when I asked about the problem. The minister wouldn't offer her view on the error, saying instead: "I'm proud to be the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. It's a vitally important portfolio and has a significant impact on all Australians."
Well, yes, but I doubt that such a vitally important minister is pleased to have been treated as a fool.
Because her department did know about it, even if no one bothered to say anything. I asked three employees about the mistake and each was already aware of it. "Welcome to the public service," one said.
I also asked the department's secretary, Kerri Hartland, for her preferred grammatical approach, but she wouldn't answer. Her spokeswoman said the naming was a "government decision" and referred me to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Yes, welcome to the public service.
In the meantime, the Employment Department diligently proceeded to replicate the error more than 8500 times on its website as it "corrected" its name on each page.
This isn't the first time a Liberal prime minister has meddled with the bureaucracy's language.
More than two decades ago, John Howard demanded the public service change the spelling of program to "programme". Kevin Rudd changed it back in 2007, but public servants switched again to programme in 2013 to please the incoming Tony Abbott.
Mr Abbott did get one thing right, though: he gave every minister and department a simple, error-proof title.
In doing so, he dispensed with the shambolic mess that was the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. Even the department's secretary, Don Russell, said the portfolio's name was "ridiculous". (It lasted less than six months.)
Does any of this matter? Focusing on this nonsense is dismissive of the real work of government, right?
Perhaps. But if a frank and fearless public servant isn't brave enough to correct a prime ministerial typo, how will they handle a genuinely contentious matter?