It's one thing to mistype "teh" instead of "the" while racing to put down all your latest ideas, spell-check wil catch that for you later. In fact, some intelligent word processors might just fix it automatically.
But what doesn't get caught are those instances where (and I have many of them) you type a real word but it isn't the one you thought you typed. This seriously happens to me all the time.
Little things like...
"I have to get lunch are twelve o'clock."
But in my head I distinctly heard "at" not "are" so where did are come from.
Is this some kind of misfiring brain signal or something?
[This message has been edited by Zero (edited February 19, 2009).]
I do it all the time too, but I can't think of any of the words--I'll have to type a bunch and see if I can make myself do it. For me it's because there are several words that I type so much my fingers automatically finish them when I start a familiar pattern. So it's not really a brain mis-fire, it's a finger mis-fire. Melanie
Posts: 938 | Registered: May 2008
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It happens to me too. I type without really thinking about it, generally. The words flow straight to my fingers without requiring conscious intervention. The trouble is when my mind starts to wander and it sends conflicting signals. Often this will come out in the typing when a word starts with the same letter, such as the butter/bitter example. If that happened to me I might've been craving popcorn at the time.
Speaking of typos, I read a really funny one recently, though I don't remember in what publication. The story referred to a "pubic official" where I sincerely hope they meant to say "public official".
Two of my favorite typos are: 1) My brother sent out a Christmas letter with a salutation addressed to "Dear Fiends." I called him and said, "Now I know what you think of your family, what do you call your friends?" I heard his wife in the background yelling, "I thought you PROOFED that letter!"
I also work at a newspaper, and one edition went to press with a headline that read, "Crows gather in town..." The reporter MEANT to say "Crowds." My mom, upon reading the newspaper in print, muttered, "I was AT that event, and I don't remember seeing ANY crows." One of my co-workers managed to scrounge up three toy stuffed crows that night, and the next morning the reporter found them on his computer.
While not a typo, my all time favorite headline was after Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead passed away. The headline read: "Head deadhead dead."
I didn't even notice you said "pubic" somewhere between my eyes and my mind I automaticly inseted an "l" to fix the problem without me ever realizing it. I suppose I should never be an editor!!!
Anyways! I do this all the time, I was thinking about it earlier today, cuase I'm planning on learning Japanese when oppurtunity arrises. I wonder if I will begin to speak Japanese just randomly when I get fluent enough.
I have done the at/are typo as well, and I finally figured it out. Just like bitter became butter because I and U are next to each other, so to did at become ar because the T and R are next to each other. You add this to a smart processor and it turns your ar into are (like the teh/the fix). A lot of times, my "helpful" word processor turns simple typo mistakes into hard to catch wrong words.
Either that or the computers are slowly starting their rebelion by undermining the sanity of writers and editors... its the first step on the road to war.
Running a piece through a grammar check sometimes help, but they have their own problems. When running a grammar check, you must understand why it is flagging the problem. Sometimes the flag simply means that there is a problem with this sentence and it has no idea what it is.
I fought hard to keep from slipping in grandma check instead of grammar check, just because it might be funny.
THEIR and THERE is a problem for many, and one grammar check I played with, automatically flagged those two words to make sure they were correct. It flagged a few other pairs, but I cannot remember what they are.
There was a poem spread around where it was made up of similar sounding, but totally different words, such as EWE WANT NO WYE EYE LICK EWE.
I do a lot of volunteer work with local historical societies, and this year we are celebrating Oregon's 150th birthday with a stagecoach mail run called the Oregon Territorial Express that will be passing through several counties. Part of the event will include a troop of mounted historic military re-enactors who will accompany the stagecoach. I have a contact list of over 150 people, including political officials and the governor's wife. I steadfastly make the typo, that when I mean to refer to the "cavalry" I accidentally type "calvary." I KNOW the difference between the two, but neither my fingers nor my mouth can get the words straight. There's nothing quite like embarrassing yourself on a statewide level.
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I remember reading that somebody-or-other (and I wish I remembered who and where I saw it, so I could credit him or her here) used to keep lists of their typos, looking for exotic words that might make interesting names for this or that. Seems a reasonable idea, though it must take a really good combination of letters to overcome the sense that it's just a misspelled word.
Posts: 8748 | Registered: Aug 2005
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I attended a seminar once on proofreading. The person leading the seminar said that the best readers make the worst proofreaders. Your mind tends to fill in what SHOULD be there, not necessarily what is really on the page.
At the newspaper where I work, where generating words are a part of the job, typos are simply a part of life. We catch all that we can, but stuff slips through.
I know exactly what you mean, Elan. I am a tech writer for an x-ray generator manufacturer and my boss is on me constantly about adequent proofreading. I catch what I can in my material, but stuff gets missed. For me, it's hard to follow good proofreading practises like letting the work sit for a day or two or having someone proofread it for me because we have quick turnarounds and not everyone has the same technical acumen that I do, so they don't understand it.
[This message has been edited by Denem (edited February 22, 2009).]
typos honestly occur rarely in my line of work. (more often is a wrong haircolor. you can imagine what happened when my boss saw that...) but I can see how they can happen, cause Ive tried converting some of my rejected comics into novels, thinking that they will sell better in that market. (no success so far, let you know when I do.)
Posts: 240 | Registered: Oct 2005
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I taught school for a couple of years, and this is something I came across during that time. Unfortunately, I don't know what the original source was, so I can't give a reference. Try to read it as fast as you can and you might not even catch the jumbles.
quote:I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas thoghut slpeling was ipmorantt!
One other condition for this to work is that the vowels have to remain in their original order.
edited to add: ...except for very short words.
[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited February 23, 2009).]
rstegman, thank you for providing a reference source. I wish I had known about that page before I tried typing that mess. It was really a mind-screw trying to type the words that way.
Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008
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One of my typo problems, when I am typing a hundred miles an hour, most often is typing out a word that sounds similar in my mind and I go ahead and type the mental word rather than the intended word. See, you don't know but I had to correct word twice because I typed in work.
There are some word combinations that have me putting an 'ing' on the end... or a 'u' after an o. Like poor spelled pour.
I think we program ourselves in completing words in our heads that aren't really the right words we intend to type.
I've been following this thread with great amusement, but had nothing to add until now. I've been arguing with a couple of people about a short story I wrote (mine - they don't like it), and I sent an email that was meant to include the phrase "self-serving" but instead it came out "self-servicing." I'm now being told it was a Freudian Slip. SIGH
Posts: 54 | Registered: Feb 2009
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Part of the problem, especially if you use MSWord, is the spell checker and "AutoCorrect" which sees a misspelling and tries to autocorrect it replacing the misspelled word with the incorrect word.
For me, it's dislexic fingers that type letters in the rwnog sequence.