Hello friends! Good to see you here again. Various missions and breadwinning enterprises have put off blog entries for a while, but I’d like to share with you some of the recent typo pictures sent in by readers. No typo corrections, though. Come on, folks– do I need to show you how it’s done again? Uh oh. I’m going to regret saying that, aren’t I?
Typo hunters have been active in various areas of the country. The first picture that I’d like to share comes to us from Rebecca C. She found a typo in Cañon City, Colorado, which, interestingly enough, is one of the few American cities to have an eñe in its name. Even more interestingly, that symbol was added to the name of the city less than twenty years ago in a decision by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. This is a change from their usual behavior of wiping out as much punctuation as possible in U.S. place names.
Anyway! Back to the typo itself. I just get so excited about grammatical asides sometimes. You’ll have to forgive me. Rebecca found a common error related to Roman emperors and salads:
How about that!
Meanwhile, in Texas, our regular contributor Karen S. was on the hunt. It didn’t take her long to discover that Plano fell victim to one of the many instances of the word “convenience” being spelled wrong. Really, should we just rethink the spelling of this word? Or perhaps we could just discourage its use. It’s such a thudding, dull word. I would love to be told by a sign that something has been provided for my comfort and delight. For my aid and succor, perhaps. In this Plano instance, how about simply telling us that lockers have been provided for us? Then we can decide whether we’d like to use them for our convenience, or whether we’d simply like to jam some stuff in them.
I find myself even more annoyed by the overuse of convenience’s dark twin, inconvenience. How many signs, friends, have told us over the years that they’re “sorry for any inconvenience this may cause”? In serious situations, it is a hopelessly inadequate word. If I find a sign like that hanging over a broken toilet, then I’m going to be more than merely inconvenienced, unless there’s an operational stall nearby. In minor, non-dire situations, the inconvenience doesn’t even need to be mentioned. You could just say “Snack machine is broken. Sorry about this.” That wording would come across as a lot more sincere, wouldn’t you say?
Hey, I like this ranting. It feels good. Maybe I’ll do more of it.
Here comes the title track. Mary B. recently visited a correctional facility in Michigan. I’m not sure of the circumstances surrounding this visit, but she was keeping an eye out for typos, and she found them. Oh boy, look at this one!
Double whammy! They really screwed this up. One might say, if one were trying to be excessively clever, that the correctional facility lacks the facility for correction. Wow! Thanks for the opportunity, Mary B. Hopefully someone will get this fixed.
And we have two contributions from J.H. in Connecticut. The first one, coming to us from West Haven, puts me in mind of the restaurant in my hometown that spelled “dining” wrong. Getting the word “luncheonette” correct if it’s part of your name seems like the most basic step. Check this out.
So my question is, is this the official name of Nick’s restaurant? What does it say on the business permits? If it really is official, then we have to let it go, in the (dubious) interest of creative license. In that case, I’d wonder about Nick’s judgment. Is he being subversive, somehow? But if the name is supposed to be Nick’s Luncheonette, then a swift fix for this is certainly in order. I’m going to be completely honest with you. If I saw this sign, I would wonder to myself, “He’s sloppy with his signage, so who’s to say it doesn’t carry over to the food prep? What if he puts mayo on my girlfriend’s club sandwich even after I asked him not to? Am I willing to take that chance?”
J.H.’s other contribution was found on the go. We can’t entirely be sure where this typo is, because we would need to know the location of the van on which it occurs. It’s a roving typo, and we all know those are the worst.
It’s funny, this “memeber”. I just came across the same typo in a document I was reading at a temporary assignment yesterday. And I’ve seen it before in remember. I’d probably see it in occurrences of dismember too, if I had the privilege of seeing that word more often in public discourse, that is.
The typos are out there. You have to help Benjamin and me find them and fix them, folks. Right now there’s a snowstorm outside my window, but maybe when things thaw out a bit, I’ll have to take a little walk around and try to get some typos fixed. It would be nice to put the correcting hat back on and see what I could do.
Let’s see, what other news do I have for you? Next month I’ll be giving a talk at Millersville University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for the Lancaster Literary Guild. If you’re in town, come on by. I gave a talk to a regional Mensa gathering a week or two ago and it was great fun; I’ll probably be using a similar program of content. If you enjoy long conversations about typos and the personal lives of typo hunters, you could check out the audio record of an interview that Benjamin and I did last night via Skype with an internet radio program, “At the Water Cooler with DK.”
Until next time! Happy March, and happy typo hunting. Remember that we’ve got your back. And, of course, always get permission when fixing a typo. But you knew that part was coming.