Friday, March 16, 2018

"No Corduroy Pants In Blog Writing"

When I was in Kindergarten and some kid – okay me, but on very rare occasions – had, what they’d call, an “accident”, the school provided this pair of corduroy “Back-Up Pants” the “Accident Victim” would put on so there would be no telltale evidence of the “accident”, enabling the preschool “Pants-Wetter” to act like there’d been no “accident” at all.  (Not that those corduroy pants weren’t a significant “giveaway.”  It’s just… when you are five, you miss things.)

The point of the upcoming contrasting analogy is that, whereas. in the preceding example, the exposing evidence is effectively eliminated, no paralleling protection is afforded to blog writers.

In blog writing, the incriminating evidence remains, with “The Cloud”, arguably forever.

Evidence of what, you exasperatingly inquire, after this long and (possibly) extraneous introduction.

Evidence of…

Well, first let me – exceedingly briefly – say this.

There are things about me I talk about and things about me I do not talk about.  You are aware of the things about me I talk about because I talk about them.  Conversely, you are unaware of other things about me because I do not talk about them.  I, of course, know everything about me.  Because I’m me.

Today’s offering reveals an exceptional situation, wherein you know something about me, and I don’t.

(We have now arrived {belatedly} at our destination.)

What do you know about me, and I don’t?

You know that, over the more than ten years that I have been generating this blog, I have made… I don’t know the number because I am not aware that I do it… but I will guess

Hundreds (possibly “and hundreds”) of typos.

(I just wrote “humdreds of typos”, but I fixed it.  So there’s one less.

Here’s the thing about typos.  (Meaning “typographical errors.”)

After composing each draft, I carefully reread what I have just written, not looking for typos, particularly, but to make what I have just written better.  Along the way, when I see typos, I, of course, judiciously correct them. 

Still, I inevitably miss some of them.  Who knows?  Maybe a lot of them.

(Well, “The Cloud” knows.  And it’s thinking – being the “Depository of Cumulative Typos” – “This guy is an idiot!”)

The question is,

Notwithstanding my scrupulous vigilance,

Why do typos happen?  (I just typed “ahppen”, but I fixed it.)

That, right there, is one reason that typos happen.

Let me explain.

I am what they call a “Touch Typist”, meaning I can type without looking at the keys. (Having learned that technique in my 9C “Typing” class at Ledbury Park Junior High School.)

The “happen – ahppen” mistake occurs when your typing fingers fire in the wrong – I just typed “worng”, but I fixed it – order.  In the case of “happen-ahppen”, my left hand “Baby Finger” hit the “a” key before my right hand “Index Finger” hit the “h’’ key, rather than after.  With “worng”, I incorrectly hit the “o” key before typing the “r.”

A more egregious “mis-type” would transpire if my fingers – that I am not looking at because I am a “Touch Typist” – are resting in the wrong place on the keyboard, in which case, say, “thinking” would come out “tjomlomg.”  That one’s easy to spot, because “tjomlomg” is not an actual word.

“Full Disclosure” – which I just typed “Discolsure”, but I fixed it.  When I typed the “happen-ahppen” example, my computer helpfully “Autocorrected” on my behalf.  On the other hand, since “Discolsure” is not a word, my computer cannot “compute” what I actually intended, the misspelled word then just sitting there until I catch it.  And if I don’t catch it, I am shamefully immortalized in cyberspace as “The Discolsure Guy.”

Why don’t I catch all my typos?

Because of the way the mind – or at least my mind – apparently works.

Here’s the (mysterious) procedure.

When I read over my copy, what I see is what I originally imagined.  And not what is actually there.

You know the saying, “Seeing is believing”?  This phenomenon is the opposite.

“Believing is seeing.”

(Hm.  Could this go beyond typos?)


I do not rewrite these errors as I perceive them as already correct.  For example, I see “it” even though I typed “ti.”

It’s just bizarre.  “Ti” is staring me right in the face – I actually just typed “Ti”, but I fixed it.  When I am rereading, however, I unequivocally see “It.”

Sometimes, “Autocorrect” is functionally inoperative.  For example, if I type “spot” when I mean to type “stop”, since “spot” is also a word, although not the word I intended, I’m sunk.  Unless I spot it in the proofreading.  (I accidentally typed “stop”, but I fixed it.) 

By the way, since the word “stop” makes no sense in the above context, how about a computer app that gets that?  Call it the “Duh” app. “Spot, in the name of the law!’”  Computers aren’t stupid.  Couldn’t they figure that out?)

Typos come in various packages.  Some typos are just carelessness.  (Three paragraphs up, I typed “staring my right in the face.”  Which the computer won’t “Autocorrect” because “my” is also a word.) 

Then, there are the “Homonym Typos.”  I type “to” when I mean “too” or type in “week” when I mean “weak.”

Some typos are literally inexplicable.  So I shall proceed to the following paragraph.

The majority of my boos-boos result from – I just typed “result form”, but I fixed it – the rewrite process itself.  My most frequent typos result from the rewrite process wherein I alter the content but leave portions of the previous version intact.  (Oops, there’s a typical example.  That first sentence was supposed to go out.  That was not deliberate.  It was simply what happened, my subliminal “unconscious” helping me along.)    

At other times, I’m just typing too fast.  (I just typed “tuping” and then retyped it to read “t(ping”, and then left out the word “to” before “read”, but I fixed it.  I must be “smelling the barn”, or something.)

Summarizing Confession:

I make typographical errors. 

And I don’t see them.

You do, leaving me thoroughly embarrassed.  Imagine baking a celebratory cake you are beamingly proud of, realizing too late that you squiggled “Happy Brithday” with the icing.

That’s me.

About everything I have ever written.

Okay, I’m done.

My objective now is to reread this everso carefully.

Delivering to the Ages a completed blog post that is prefect.


Davey C. said...


JED said...

For some reason, I have trouble with "because" (typing "becuase"). I think I get it wrong more than I get it right. The worst part is, I once clicked "Add to dictionary" instead of correcting it so now I don't even get the spell-checker's wavy red line under it to remind me I'm wrong.

Ed, Sr. said...

Mr. Pomegranate, ewe carck mi up.

Stubblejumpers Cafe said...

I've had the same experience -- working for a newspaper, finding a typo, fixing it (or thinking I did), then looking at the paper again and seeing it corrected -- when it wasn't.

So weird!