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Friday, 28 September 2012

Comments

I like to think of poop jokes as self defecating humor.

Out of coincidence, I published an entry to my own blog about misspellings and general misuse of written and spoken language the very same day as this article. (It's in portuguese, which for anglo-saxons is nearly as readable as sanskrit, and Google translation wouldn't do it any favours, so no link.) The same phenomenon is happening this side of the Atlantic Ocean too, and I believe it's widespread. I can't really pinpoint its causes: it would be all too easy to blame the use of texting, or Facebook and Twitter, but there are many middle-aged, pre-Internet people who seem unable to express themselves correctly.
When I browse the 'Net, I feel surprised that my english, poor as it is, is actually better than what some english-speaking people display at forums (shouldn't it be 'fori', by the way?) and comments. I mean - "definately"? "It's" instead of "its"? And what about "miniscule"? Again, the problem isn't new. And it isn't confined to a particular group of people or educational circumstances either: when I bought Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Music" (in vinyl, from True Blue Music), I was appalled to find a typo ruining the last theme's title: "Crepescule With Nellie".
Maybe I'm just too picky but, even though sometimes these typos can be hilarious, I find them mostly disturbing.
But then again I probably worry too much. I should stop worrying before someone labels me "grammar nazi"...

A disclaimer - I don't like the accent, and am forced to hear it because I live there, but:
'Dasn't' isn't just an Americanism, unfortunately for the compilers of your linked-to site - 'dasn't', meaning 'dare not', also occurs in the Norfolk dialect in England, and so possibly elsewhere here too. Maybe the old-form origins come from the language used by the original English-speaking settlers? Apparently a lot of American English - spellings etc - stem from the form of English spoken/written in the 17th century.

Just thought you'd be interested - you DID highlight the word! 'Morning, by the way. It is here, anyway.

The property descriptions complied by (real) estate agents in the UK (& presumably elsewhere) are often a source of amusement. One I read recently claimed a house had 'parking at the front for three cars and a small garden' . Obviously, they rarely read through what they've written (or maybe more worryingly, perhaps, they do.....?)

On a related note, I'd like to bring to your attention a lovely book about preserving proper punctuation titled 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves,' by Lynne Truss (available at Amazon). As a long time reader of your site, I am sure you will appreciate the author's massage... er, message.

Recent favorite typosition: (referring to aperture) "...if sixteen is too much take it down to elven."

The response to which was "If my lens goes to elven, does it have less pixie-dust?"

Given how many people aren't even using keyboards to enter text on the 'net, I can't be sure if these hilarities are typos, autocorrect or malapropisms.

thanks for a healthy laugh.
will you
bill me
now?

The wonders of spill check! They can be fun.

Frendokensiology-- this could become a bona fide major at some of the "lesser" medical schools.

If I am not mistaken, these are called "eggcorns"
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?cat=49

That "eclectic bill" has automatic spelling correction written all over it.

Sometimes automation helps (catch my spelling errors) and sometimes it doesn't.

Don't know whether you could define them as typos, but there seems to be a widespread inability to distinguish between "lose" and "loose" on internet forums. "Lense" - which makes me want regurgitate - is becoming so ubiquitous as to be almost legitimate usage. Let's be generous and call these infelicities "typos" rather than symptoms of illiteracy.
Roy

Dyslexia - its not the end of the word!

What's a doctor's bill?

Socialist medicine does have advantages...

"thanks for a healthy laugh. will you bill me now?"

Sebastel,
$6, please.

Mike

"That 'eclectic bill' has automatic spelling correction written all over it."

Kevin,
You're probably right. Still funny when I encountered it, though.

Mike

Reading all the comments and being a proud grammar-and-spelling-nazi (Why? Because I can!) I would like to add this: Dyslexia is a medical condition. A typo is just that, an error which happens to everyone.

Everything else is, most of the times, proof of being dumb as horse-droppings and not willing to care about it (which is the real crime against oneself).

Its the same in my mother-tongue, so being dumb is most likely a universal condition.

Btw, being a non-native speaker of the englisch language I tried this test
http://theoatmeal.com/quiz/twitter_spell
and scored only 95% percent, which annoyed me no end :). So, no excuse for anyone else.

MarkB wrote:

The response to which was "If my lens goes to elven, does it have less pixie-dust?"

No, but your images may be pixielated.

(sound of Goon-show-type rapid running...)

Apropos "Eats, shoots and leaves", I think the original expression was "Eats, roots and leaves". Don't say that in Australia, though. Root has a quite different meaning here, and it is not polite to say "I'm rooting for my team." Root is a synonym for ... a primitive function, shall we say.

I like the word Precisionista, meaning pedant, and I'm proud to call myself one.

I love the "change one letter, change the meaning" game, and I'd like to contribute apropoo, meaning dumping in the proper place.

Scene: internal suburban house, somewhere in the Home Counties, England. It is LATE SUMMER. CATHERINE is watching her husband REGINALD quickly eating a piece of buttered toast for his breakfast.

CATHERINE: Don't eat so fast darling, you'll get indigestion.

REGINALD: Well love, I'm running a little late this morning. Must hurry.

CATHERINE looks outside through the kitchen window, at the weather, while REGINALD puts on his suit coat and adjusts his tie.

CATHERINE: It looks like it might rain. You should take one of the cars today.

REGINALD: The weather report said it would be cloudy, but no rain until tomorrow. I think I'll make the most of the summer weather, get some fresh air while it lasts. I'll take the garden again, unless you wanted it to run the dogs down to the common.


(Sometimes, I wonder if I'm quite sane...) And speaking of late summer, my iPhone corrected that to Kate Sumner. How odd.

Shouldn't they be called typrose? :)

My son, his wife and their son just returned from a trip to Scotland. While there the toddler became ill and a trip to the physician's office was required. In addition to the charge for the examination the bill also had a charge for writing the prescription.

"Shouldn't they be called typrose? :)"

Paul,
Better. Much better.

Mike

"My son, his wife and their son just returned from a trip to Scotland. While there the toddler became ill and a trip to the physician's office was required. In addition to the charge for the examination the bill also had a charge for writing the prescription."

What about the charge for writing the bill? :-)

Mike

I hope you got lenses included in that bill.

@Tom, prescription charges have been abolished in Scotland. Residents and qualified visitors can get NHS treatment and prescription medications free of charge. I suspect other visitors using the NHS have their pockets picked to defray the costs.

ahem, "prescription charges"

"What about the charge for writing the bill? :-)"

Now you're intruding on lawyers' territory. We've had a case here recently where a law firm was charging clients for taking answering machine messages. Not studying and acting on them, just receiving them. Any action was extra.

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