On one of the writing Facebook pages I’m on, a ruckus has erupted—over typos. After a writer corrected another writer for the purpose of “learning,” the moderator stepped in and said to leave the grammar police out. The purpose was to make the place a safe zone.
Of course, that outraged several writers who thought it was their job to inform others of their typos so they would know they made them and supposedly learn not to do it. (They were banned.)
I was surprised at how much that brought back old feelings of frustration over typos. Not at making them. I know I make them.
But at how some people overreact to them.
I don’t have problems when someone flags one and says, “Hey, there’s a typo in paragraph 2.” I’m cool with that.
But I’ve also had a long history of run-ins of people who are very intolerant of typos. It’s like they’re looking to be a drama queen over something unimportant. There’s nothing worse that going over something 4-6 times, running spell check and doing a final check, and that person catches the one typo I missed and yells that I’m sloppy, incompetent … well, you get the idea.
Then there’s the lecturers, which is what prompted the moderator to speak. The lecturers see writer and puff themselves up, officious tone in hand. Obviously, that writer was not smart enough to realize she was making typos and needs someone to explain the error of her ways so she can learn how to not make them.
I had one pop in on the blog. A copy editor published a lecturing comment citing “numerous typos” in one post and sternly admonished that I needed to proofread. I use Dean Wesley Smith’s cycling method on everything I write, so it’s a constant back and forth. Then I spellcheck and proofread. I make a lot of typos, but I catch most of them. It’s still hard for me to let something go because I want to check it one or two more times for typos and make sure I didn’t miss any, though I know I will miss one.
So when I saw the comment, that old doubt caused by all the Typo Drama Queens popped up. Had I really missed that many? I was envisioning six for some reason.
The “numerous typos” was ONE typo. I’d flipped ‘or’ for ‘of,’ which is a hard one for me to spot.
I used to berate myself when someone else found a typo, wishing I could be better and wondering why I didn’t catch it. But one of my past jobs has largely broken me of that. I’ve seen a lot of paperwork with extremely embarrassing mistakes.
What’s your drama queen typo story?
I just saw some typos in two different posts, but fortunately I could correct them right away. I so appreciate that tool ’cause there are always typos. ‘Course sometimes they’re mistakes…
I’m so glad for the computer. I started out on a manual typewriter, and I’m a rotten typist to start with.
That would be a tough typo to catch – it’s not like spellcheck would catch that. And I find myself missing errors since I already know what I wrote, I tend to read what I know was supposed to be there and not what actually is!
One of my FB friends recently posted an article about one space or two after a period and I couldn’t believe how “offended” and hostile these people got over 2 spaces!! Somehow I don’t think it really matters in the grand scheme of life!
I’ve seen knock down, drag out fights erupt over that on message boards. Seriously? Why is one space or two important enough to waste that much time and energy?
I’ve got a healthy bit of grammar police in me for sure, but I know I make typos sometimes and would be embarrassed if someone pointed them out. So I tend to keep my mouth (and fingertips) shut about them.
I ahve a couple of fans of my blog who alert me to typos. I really appreciate it. But they are always kind and matter-of-fact. They understand I post quickly and often, and in exchange, I won’t be perfect.
I have excellent grammar skills. But my typing is crap, so typos will happen. If I print something to turn in, I edit it carefully. But I cannot edit every single Facebook post, and dramatic responses won’t change that!
Kind and matter-of-fact is good. There are way too many people who overblow a simple typo with glee, like they caught a writer in something wrong.
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