Photo courtesy of Sharon King
A friend of mine spotted this typo on a Chinese food menu. The restaurant owners mean “crab” but offer “crap” instead. Yikes and yuck.
Yes, one letter makes a big difference. This issue comes in the form of the totally wrong letter, like above, or an omitted letter: “public affairs” has appeared as “pubic affairs.” Or there might be a transposition error, like the more tame and common “from” instead of “form.”
Unfortunately, spell check does not catch this phenomenon most of the time; the words’ incorrect counterparts are often real words. I stress these practices to avoid this occurrence:
Slow down or take a break. We all have large–and tedious–typing projects on occasion. Perhaps breaking it down into more bite-sized pieces or stopping when you are tired will reduce mistakes.
Double-check your work. I recommend reading your writing aloud after you finish it. Sometimes your ears are more alert than your eyes.
Use a second pair of eyes. I might sound like a broken record with this tip but it really makes a difference. We are too close to our own writing. Having someone else give it a good once-over before sending it to press can eliminate some major humiliation.
Happy reading and writing, my friends!
Sean C. Wright is the author of the short stories Hazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. She is also an editor. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.
Send me your typo images! Snap pictures and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. They must be real pictures and not images in online links, as those might be doctored. I’m looking for the real McCoy. Conceal the company’s identity if possible. No sweat if you can’t. I’ll hide the name before I post it. We’re not looking to embarrass but to educate.