The Typo Docters Are In

That first couple weeks we were on tour was quite intense, and we fell a little behind.  Thus, out of order entries.  This should be the last of those, as we’ve gradually been catching up…

Philadelphia, the site of our fourth book signing, was exceptionally kind to us.  The city offered up much in the way of platonic, brotherly love.  It also proved to be fertile ground for typo hunting.  We met up with a reporter and photographer from the Philadelphia Inquirer at the giant clothespin, and we wandered down the street and began hunting.  A few blocks down, and we commenced typo finding, or at least Jeff did.  I have to confess something.  While walking around with the New York Post reporter in NYC, I was the only person who failed to spot anything.  Jeff did the work singlehandedly with the ABC News crew in Portsmouth, and I again found nil.  I hadn’t found any typos on signs since our book tour had begun, and we were now two weeks in.  Anyway, Jeff found a sign with heavy trouble.

Before he decided to try correcting this one, it came to a pick-your-battle moment.  Because there was also a stray apostrophe on the tour.  I’d taken over camera duties and of course forgot to snap the before picture, but basically, the sign’s name on the awning and written elsewhere agreed on an apostrophe-free version, but the sticky letters on the door included the apostrophe sticker.  It didn’t belong in Cleaner’s, as the other signs correctly indicated.

We entered with maybe too much theater (the reporter followed us in as the photographer began snapping pictures of everything and everyone–including the clerk as we tried to talk to her), but Jeff managed to gently wheedle permission to remove the sticker.

Great, and down the street a couple of storefronts, here came another.

Hmm…  Batting today, number 5, Billy Hairstylist?  We went inside, where we quickly explained ourselves.  Thus, we managed to provide our reporter with a classic response to our typo hunting efforts.  One of the women there explained that she wasn’t the boss and she didn’t want to make any decisions on the boss’s behalf.  Jeff offered to not only fix it, but make the fix look good (He’s really improved in this part of the craft.), but to no avail.

We walked on, and I thought I caught one, but it turned out to be the name of the place, so it falls under artistic license.  In which case, I have to give the store props for including the apostrophe when naming the place (even though I don’t get the significance of using a Z there).

Blast–I still hadn’t contributed.  Jeff chatted more with the reporter as I examined the area near the awning where I’d thought I’d finally caught a typo.  There’s wasn’t much more text for me to examine while standing around…but there was enough.  What the…?

Ha!  I found one!  I found one!  Trapped behind the glass at a place that was for rent and so had no one inside to let us in.  So…no correction on that one, sadly.  But I found one.

What we really needed, though, was something else to correct.  We finally left the block with all of those typos and marched on.  Then Jeff found a classic word butchering…or rather, a word that’s often butchered, but the mistake wasn’t where we’d found it before.

We charged inside, where we were greeted by a trio of girls, and they sang sweeter than the sirens when Jeff asked if he could correct a mistake.  Of course he could, no problem.  Not one of them saw any problem with that.  They’d spelled the same word correctly everywhere else, and they were happy to see this error eliminated from their sidewalk specials board.  Jeff didn’t even have the chance to produce his own piece of chalk as one of the girls offered him a stick.  And so…

A passing filly who noticed us looking proudly at a job well done and thought we were considering where to eat informed us that they had great sandwiches–it’s one of the best spots around.   Based on our own observations, we couldn’t help but agree.

One of the lessons I’ve learned from typo hunting is that you can’t stop.  You may say something casually ridiculous like, “All right, I think that’s good–let’s head back.”  And you can mean to stop, but then something like this will pounce on you.

Oh, it gets worse.

This was at the Dress Barn, and we didn’t bother going in once we saw the second one.  That looked professionally done, which means we need to pull the Filene’s Basement stunt and check a second Dress Barn.  If anyone else visits a Dress Barn in the coming days, could you keep an eye out for this?  We haven’t come across another one yet to confirm the trouble.

Even after we left the city proper and returned to our friend’s place in Lansdowne, Jeff still had his typo radar going.  This one’s kinda hilarious–but you know we don’t touch government signs, no no.

We dropped south to the Philadelphia Airport that afternoon and had a wonderful time talking with people and signing books for them.  I even ran into an old friend from my college days who was randomly passing through (this would happen again at our next airport).

The big signing happened the next day at the Borders downtown.  Thanks to everyone getting the word out, including the Philadelphia Inquirer story that ran, we ended up just filling the area, more people trickling in after we began.  We started with hardly more than 10 people and ended with more than 20.  Here’s a couple of pictures we took in the middle of the event.


Thanks to everyone who came out (and up) to the show!  We continue to hear that everyone loves how different it is from a normal reading, and we have plenty more prizes to give away.

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5 Responses to The Typo Docters Are In

  1. Aj says:

    sorry, I cannot find a ‘butchered’ word in those photos. What am I missing?

  2. Laurie says:

    Aj, Look carefully at the word “caeser”. It should have another “a”, not an “e”. It is tricky to spot.

    Isn’t this an interesting job?
    I just bought their book to read. Did you?

    Enjoy.

  3. DeeCue says:

    I was told about this book today; what a great idea! Wish I had thought of it. AJ: if you cannot find even ONE error, you should contact your grade school teachers and ask them why they didn’t inspire you during Spelling hour.

  4. Earl R. Verbeek says:

    Ummmm…just above the last two photographs in your post appear these words: “Here’s a couple of pictures we took…” Here IS a couple of pictures?

  5. Binay says:

    One of my managers on the copy desk is fond of ridneming us that a good copy editor has his or her mind in the gutter maybe, given accidental drug references like pot party, she should say that a good copy editor has an immature sense of humor.

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