Nothing ruins my day like the dreaded typo; they are the worst. In fact, the word “the” in the previous sentence was the victim of the typo, but I luckily caught it. However, not all typos are put in their place and end up glaring back at us once our work is published.
So, what’s the deal?
According to this article from Wired, typos are actually a very human error as a result of the way our brains work through high level tasks, such as writing. It’s not because we’re careless or stupid; it’s because we write to convey meaning. As the author of the Wired article puts it:
“When we’re proof reading our own work, we know the meaning we want to convey. Because we expect that meaning to be there, it’s easier for us to miss when parts (or all) of it are absent. The reason we don’t see our own typos is because what we see on the screen is competing with the version that exists in our heads.”
However, while it may seem like all hope is lost and we will never be able to save ourselves from any typos, it isn’t! For example, touch typists-typists who can type without looking at the keyboard-know they’ve made an error even before it shows up on the screen!
So, yes, typos are an annoying part of the life of the writer and are probably here for life. However, it’s pretty cool to know the reason for their pesky existence.