A typographical error is a mistake made during the typing process. The term includes errors due to mechanical failure or slips of the hand or finger, but excludes errors of ignorance. ~Wikipedia
I highlighted the word mistake because that’s what a typo is, it’s a mistake and even though we all make them, nothing unnerves people like a typo. Why is that?
Illustration: We’re surfing the web, maybe we’re reading a blog post, and then we see it, a typo. We look at it, maybe we go back and reread the sentence again. Yep, it’s a typo and we stare at it like it’s a two-headed monster.
Next, we either run away screaming or somehow we muddle through the confusion of H being transposed with E and realize the word the author meant to type was “the” and we leave a comment.
After clearing up the confusion in our mind, we go on our merry way, but we can’t stop thinking about that typo! We go back to their blog, or the article, to see if it’s still there, and it is, the author hasn’t corrected it yet.
We scratch, we twitch, and maybe we call Bob from Accounting or send a copy of the typo around to people on our email list and announce we found a typo. No mention of a cure for cancer, but we found a typo. Unable to cope, we send the author an email pointing out their gaffe. All better now.
Seriously? That type of behavior reminds me of a cop who writes a ticket for a parked car because the meter expired while the burglar behind him tiptoes away with the booty. There are more pressing issues, especially in casual writing situations, when a typo can be overlooked.
So, besides the embarrassment, what is it about the typo that agitates people to no end? Is it our place to contact a blogger, or anyone, if they have a typo in their writing? When we make errors, are we as vocal about our mistakes as we are with the mistakes of others?
I read a couple of blogs that remain typo free, I commend you, and I’m sad – not really – to say I won’t be joining you in the ranks. I make typos here, not on purpose, of course, and if I’m a regular reader of your blog, then I leave typos there too. I might leave another comment asking the blogger (if I know them well enough) to fix my typo, or not, but I know I suck at proofreading.
Is that a lazy way of thinking. I suck so I refuse to try? No, I think it’s more of, I know when my writing needs to be error free and if I have an occasional slip of the finger, it’s not the end of the world, for me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t care or that it’s okay if our blog posts or emails contain errors, but if it’s a minor typo, can’t we all just get along, without the nitpicking?
Of course, no article, blog post or anything written should have an excessive amount of typos, it’s embarrassing and it looks bad.
If you’ve made a typo on your blog and someone contacted you about it, is it a big deal, do you freak out, become upset or do you say thank you and correct it?
I’m curious, how do you feel about typos? Should you or do you correct the typos from commenters on your blog? Is it about being perfect or not looking sloppy or ignorant?
I think Dee said it best when she said typos don’t appear until we (bloggers) hit publish.
This post was proofread by me and another set of eyes. I am nervously going to hit publish now, but if you should happen to find a typo, please do not email me, I made a mistake and I’m okay with it.
In: Blogging, WTH · Tagged with: Error, Mistakes, Typos