The Horror of Typos (+ Prevention Techniques)

LET ME TELL YOU
(A LITTLE)





It all started like this . . .

On a dark and eerie night as a downpour of rain flooded the deserted streets, an English teacher sat at her bedroom desk with a cup of caffeine in one hand and a red pen in the other.  She was feeling quite in spirits for she had just handed out glorious, fat, red "Fs" to those of her students who, ignoring all reasoning, ignoring all pleas, continued to use the incorrect forms of "there," "their," and "they're."  And with a final flourish of her hand, the English teacher marked down the last "F."  Satisfied with a hard night's work, the English teacher leaned back in her chair and stretched out the cricks in her neck.

Ding! 

The English teacher's computer screen lit up with an incoming message, just as an ear-splitting clap of thunder resounded outside, rattling the house and jolting the teacher.  Drops of coffee flew from her mug.

With a shaky hand, the English teacher placed the mug on the table and clicked open the message.

It read:

From: Concerned Parents <concernedparents@home.com>
To: Ms. English Teacher <msenglishteacher@school.edu>

Ms. English Teacher,

We are very concerned with our son's progress in school.  May we request a meeting with you in your office on April 9, 2015 at 3:00 PM to discuss the matter?  

Sincerely,
Mr. and Mrs. Concerned Parents

The English teacher sighed in relief and promptly replied.  She hit "send" without a moment's hesitation.  She hit "send" WITHOUT.  PROOFREADING.

From: Ms. English Teacher <msenglishteacher@school.edu>
To: Concerned Parents <concernedparents@home.com>

Mr. and Mrs. Concerned Parents,

Yes, of course.  I'll see you their on the 9th.

THEIR.

THEIR.

THEIR.


AHHHHHHHHHH!  THE HORROR!!!

Okay, in all seriousness, typos are rather horrific (as we all know).  They make us look ignorant.  Incompetent.  Novices of the English language.  And these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad typos have gotten the best of the best of us: the authors, the writers, the English teachers, the bloggers, have let a few a lot of these nasty typos slip.  It's inevitable.

(I mean, except for me.  Eye nvr mayk tiepoz.)


Obviously, I'm kidding.  Of course I do.  I mean, there's probably a multitude of them in this post alone. 

However inevitable, these little pests are preventable.  Throughout my years in high school, I've been cautioned time and time again to cycle through typo prevention techniques before submitting essays, turning in papers, or sending emails to teachers.  Some of these prevention techniques are definitely applicable in other aspects of our lives such as well, such as when creating a post, commenting on other blogs, or maybe even . . . tweeting?

Here's some typo prevention techniques you should cycle through before hitting "send," "publish," "post," or "submit."

• Proofread

Well, obviously.  You should do a quick read-through at least once.  You just shouldn't feel comfortable skipping this crucial step.

• Spell-check

We often complain about that "annoying red squiggly line" or auto-correct messing up our texts, but really?  We should be thankful.  Spell-checkers can be quite the lifesavers.

• Read aloud

Reading aloud helps a lot.  I picked up this tip in a social studies class and though it does sound a bit nonsensical and tedious, trust me: it works!  Reading your own work aloud forces you pay attention to the details.  Often sentences look fine on paper, but when spoken aloud, may sound a bit odd.

• Come back later

Another huge lifesaver!  If you've been cranking out an essay for hours staring at the same screen, everything tends to blend together.  In your tired state, your eyes gloss over the mistakes.  Returning to your work hours, even days later, helps tremendously.  It's like you're viewing your writing with a fresh pair of eyes!

• Get a buddy

Friends are awesome.  Editing friends are even better.  Besides being able to pick out the typos, an editing buddy can give precious feedback and commentary on bigger ideas and your writing as a whole.


Got any typo prevention tips?  Any typo horror stories?
If so, please share in the comments!

Julia's a dreamer. She often zones off periodically throughout the day thinking up plans for the future, pining over fictional characters, and concocting up possible plot lines for stories.

You can find Julia on her main blog, Peach Print, on Twitter @peachprint, on Instagram @yapeach, and of course, right here on the APCB blog.

24 comments:

  1. Eep! That's one of my pet peeves. I feel like I can't ever forgive myself if I ever submit an essay with even one tiny typo. The horror!

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

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  2. I hate typos! And the one with their and there is one of my worst pet peeves. I always use spell check, but I also proofread. Sometimes spell check just doesn't catch all the errors . . . especially when you mistake their for there. :)

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  3. I hate typos and I always get extremely frustrated with myself when I write something incorrectly or make a stupid mistake. I'm always correcting my friends' grammar if they type your instead of you're or there instead of their (it's a wonder I have any friends left haha! I just tell them that they'll thank me for it one day ;D). Great post!

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  4. I tend to ramble a lot in my book reviews, and sometimes I can go on writing and typing without paying attention the words I put in, and it oftentimes lead to many horrific typos. I think there was a time when there was 10 typos in a post? And it took me 5 revisions to get them all, and this was after they were already published! I definitely agree that reading out loud helps, though - reading along WHILE proofreading ;)

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  5. Ahhh! You know that moment you THINK your post is error-free and then you literally see an error smack in your face AFTER you publish the post. Of course, it's just one out of the few, but I hate blatantly obvious ones.

    Unfortunately, I'm the editing friend. I make my friends' essays cry.

    But I make no promises of what errors I make on my tablet.

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  6. I loved the post and really enjoyed the story of the English teacher :D
    But, seriously these typos...God! They make their way some how in whatever you've written no matter how many times you check. But, great suggestions and I am sure to keep these in my mind from now on :)

    Note: I did re-read the comment before clicking on publish....but did any typo still make its way into it ;)

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  7. Great post, Julia Anne! I absolutely detest typos with every fiber in my human being, and luckily (and sometimes unluckily) for me I overthink things a lot so I often reread emails and posts and all sorts of different things several times so I usually catch my typos (but of course there are always exceptions). Thanks for the prevention techniques!! I use a few of them already, but some of them I don't use but probably should.

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  8. I remember reading a book and was horrified by a typo, because I (for some unknown reason) put the author on a pedestal. So, needless to say I tweeted the author and received a reply along the lines of "don't focus on the typos, focus on the message of the book" - it was a memoir-ish. I think I was a little offended, but I did enjoy the book even if I wound up focusing on trying to find more typos lol
    - Krys

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  9. The worst is when it is a typo on Twitter for me. I try to make sure I delete the tweet right away but I am still horrified by my mistake... *sighs* If only I was perfect like you guys ;) Great post Julia!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

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  10. I had a friend who ALWAYS got there/their/they're wrong. ALWAYS! And I mercilessly quizzed her until she got it down and ever since I did that, I always catch myself trying to use the wrong form of the word. Faaaiiilllll.

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  11. i am so so diligent about typos for any schoolwork because that is the absolute worst, right? thankfully i usually have microsoft word to help me out but i still like to go over it once or twice. when it comes to blog posts though, i hate to say that i rarely rarely edit. i touch type so usually i can weed out the typos as i see it play out on my screen but there are some that weasel their way through I'M SURE and as much as i hate the idea of typos, i'm also a very very lazy person so i'm like WHATEVER.

    the only thing that bugs me though is the fact that twitter doesn't have an edit button. like i guess there are also good reasons for why they wouldn't have one but man does it suck to notice a typo the SECOND after you hit tweet and you're like DO I DELETE IT AND TWEET AGAIN OR LIVE WITH THIS FOREVER.

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  12. Gosh, typos are horrific indeed!!! Ugh. The your/you're is perhaps the one I see the most. Those tips are awesome! I do them all the time in case SOMETHING is wrong. How embarrasing it would be from my part to always complain about typos and then commit one myself. Yeahhh, no.

    Vane at Books With Chemistry

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  13. Editing buddies are fantastic! Helping save typos together! The annoying thing with my computer is that, try as I might, I can't set it to recognise my Australian standard English spelling as correct, because it tells me only the American spellings are THE ONLY ONES ALLOWED. Which can be frustrating- sceptical vs skeptical, that kind of thing.
    I write my blog posts out by hand and then put them onto the computer, so I suppose that's a kind of edit check, but otherwise I don't proofread. I don't really make the time on my day for that and aren't overly bothered if I have a mistake or two that I don't notice. In any school work, though! Double reading! Reading a few hours later! It all comes into play. x

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  14. I realised today that I wrote "illicit" instead of "elicit" somewhere and I can't remember where or what I was talking about, but I know it was recently and it's kinda messing with me. I just know I did it.
    I make a lot of spelling errors without even realising it. I use spellcheck though, so that stops a few.
    I always try proofreading my work, but in the end, I just skim past mistakes without realising. Reading aloud does wonders for me when I can be bothered to do it though!
    Great post - loved the story at the beginning :')

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  15. Hahahaha that would definitely be a nightmare. I hate typos, and since I write most of my blog posts at night (when I'm almost asleep) I tend to have SO MANY random typos. It's the worst thing that can happen to me (the grammar nazi amongst my friends) xD

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  16. I know, typos are icky and all. And I have a bad case of hating proofreading. Once I have written something I hate reading it all over again because I already know what I just wrote! Which I think stems from my dislike of rereading :P But I do write my reviews months before I post them pretty often, so when I am going to preschedule it in I give it a once over and tweak things here and there...

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  17. I totally agree with you on spell-checkers although they are quite annoying at times I always keep them activated since I write really fast and so I make spelling mistakes really often, it's an illness really ^^

    @ "Book Addict"

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  18. I've recently downloaded Grammarly and it is FABULOUS!

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  19. There was one blog that made me run away because of a blog post that had like a million typos! She kept using 'i' instead of 'I' which was so annoying because she kept doing it over and over again. I understand we may have one or two typos in our posts but it looked like she didn't even bother to proofread :/

    ~Karina @ A Reader Under The Sea

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  20. *screams in horror* NO! NOT THE DREADED TYPO! *runs and hides*

    These really are some great tips though Julia Anne - definitely going to try to utilize them in my writing as much as I can. Thank goodness for spell check - I don't know how I'd survive without it! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

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  21. Hahhah that IS a horror story! But in seriousness, I think as long as you generally write decently, to the point where it makes sense and doesn't look like my four year old texted it to you, a few typos here and there are not a problem for me (at least in other people's posts- who among us doesn't judge themselves more harshly?)

    What I cannot handle is someone who is supposed to have some kind of grammatical standards making constant mistakes to the point where you know they either don't have a clue OR don't care at all. Either one is annoying, but the latter is inexcusable.

    However, I am going to confess here and now that I NEVER proofread my posts, and generally just press send. I find it's better for my sanity that way ;)
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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  22. hehe this is so funny XD BUT SO TRUE. This happens to me all the time it's embarrassing. I'm entering college in the fall and now I HAVE to up my game and get my ish together. Thank you for this, it was very entertaining and a good reminder :)
    -Diana @ bookinganadventure.blogspot.com

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  23. I LOVE the scenario that you painted! Very entertaining :) I occasionally type the wrong 'there' or 'your' just from typing too fast ( a favorite is to type 'youre' (no apostrophe) because I just like adding e's to things). Even when I catch them before hitting send/submit, they STILL make me angry with myself --- I know better! How could I DO that?!

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  24. Loved the little horror story, Julia! :D Eye trooly detesst tiepoes two! I totally totally freak out when I make one. I'm really glad I co-blog with Veronika because we always proofread the other one's posts and it's such a lifesaver really! Saying I'm a spelling Nazi is an understatement :)

    Ruzaika @ The Regal Critiques

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