Typos. We all make them. We all notice them (everywhere, except, somehow, in the blogs we ourselves post.)
And we get a perverse delight in spotting them in other people’s writing. Part of the reason, of course, is that it makes us feel superior, better educated, smarter. As in “I would have never split that infinitive, or garbled that gerund.”
Except, of course, that maybe it should be “I would never have split…” And since so few of us, including me, know exactly what a gerund is, it is hard to define what a messed up one looks like.
I think, as in most abilities, we tend to believe that whatever level of expertise we possess is the acceptable standard. If we know and use the correct form of “They’re, their and there,” then (than?) we think that those who often make that particular mistake have somehow inferior intellects, even if the content of their writing is way beyond our capabilities.
But there is no doubt that A) I make more careless writing mistakes than I would like to admit, and B) typos can kill you. In a resume, letter, email, blog, Tweet, ad or brochure, a stupid typo can cast doubt on your credentials way beyond what you would imagine the impact a misplaced letter or two would have.
We all realize by now that spell check, like food past its expiration date, may be good, but usually not good enough. So you really have to, like Santa, check your work twice. Though as sure as G-d made little green apples (clichés can be just as damaging as typos), you will continue to slip up. And yes, I prefer a good idea, no matter how mangled its presentation, to a boring thought that is immaculate in its appearance. But, just be careful out there.
Got the idea?