Help Me Declare War On (My) Typos

Do typos bug you? Specifically, do MY typos bug you? Well, a new day is dawning. I’m announcing my Typo Accountability Project. But I’m going to need your help so please keep reading.


Honestly, I’m just caving to public pressure. Typos don’t bug me all that much personally, particularly on a blog. In a printed book? Yes, then typos strike me as sloppy and weird. But here online, I’m forgiving because the web is more fluid and real time-y plus they can always be corrected.

But that’s just me. Some of y’all really don’t like typos. Like, really don’t.

I’ve mentioned before that I have two things working against me in the typo department.

First, as a result of my diabetes I have really poor eyesight. For example, I’m initially writing this post in Microsoft Word and the font size I’m using is literally one that most of you could probably read from across the room. No joke, each letter is about an inch tall on my screen. My vision swirls and I have spots and patterns that come and go. (No, I don’t drive anymore. You’re safe.)

My second issue is that I have painful tendinitis in my right arm. If you think my work is painful to read, I will counter that it’s actually physically painful for me to write. For much of my work, I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a really great voice recognition software program but that doesn’t keep errors from showing up – it just creates different and more bizarre errors, like words that make no sense suddenly cropping up in the middle of sentences.

These two factors make the process of writing physically difficult for me and by the time I get something written, I’m often so exhausted and hurting that I just want to get the darn thing published as quickly as possible. But if you have done any blogging at all, you’ll know that I can’t because writing is just the initial part of the process. After that comes hyperlinking, finding and inserting images, formatting and then assorted housekeeping tasks in WordPress.

Okay. Those were my excuses. Now that I’ve gotten them out of my system, I don’t need to use them anymore.

What I need to do is take an extra final step before I publish things and do a search and destroy mission for typos.

Here’s where you come in.

Public accountability is a great technique for achieving one’s goals. They tell people that if you want to lose weight or quit smoking or change any bad habit, one simple little mind trick you can play on yourself is to start telling everybody what your intention is. Another trick is to give yourself some extra negative incentive when someone catches you sneaking a piece of cake or furtively inhaling a cigarette in the Rose Garden. (No disrespect, Mr. President.)

So – if you catch me making a typo on this blog, I will donate one dollar per post to a charity to be named later.

Here the rules…

  • I have 15 minutes from the time I post something to correct any typos. Because of that vision problem, if an error happened in the WordPress stage, I often literally don’t even see the typos until they are published in a browser.
  • It’s one dollar per blog post, not per typo.
  • It has to be actual typo, not a made-up word or slang expression. This isn’t Scrabble.
  • You can notify me either by e-mail, twitter or in a comment.

Them’s the rules. (That was not a typo, by the way.) Let’s see if this psychological experiment works.

AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Andreas.


  1. Typos can be funny, and sometimes ironic — and there’s one guy I know for whom typos often lead to perfect examples of Muphry’s Law – every time he points out a mistake someone else makes, his post/comment doing so invariably contains a mistake at least as bad — but generally, I think most folks see ’em just the way you do, at least here in the fast paced world of the internets… The product of getting one’s thoughts on the page as quickly as possible, fixable, once noticed, and overall, no real big deal…

    That said, I’ll be glad to help you eradicate them, should I notice any… Always glad to help…

  2. I used to wonder about your typos until I heard about your blindness and your use of dragon.

    Can the charity be “get mark a sick-ass new guitar”? They do lots of great work.

  3. Dude, until I get my Blacktop Jazzmaster, you get NOTHING. Nothing!

  4. Typo-haters are a loud, aggressive, and outspoken lot. Personally typos don’t really phase me unless the typo is so bad that I can’t figure out the word. Most of the time though I fly right past them without a second thought.

    The English language is in a constant flux. Personally I think the problem is that we don’t speak in complete sentences. Nor do we all use proper/official English words. We’re forced in written word to do what we don’t naturally do otherwise, unless we break all sorts of grammatical rules… which seem to also be in flux.

    I don’t think the debate has ever ended on where a comma goes in a sentence. They literally have an official meeting on grammar and sentence structure every year. If they can’t figure it out I don’t see the need for me to worry about it. Last I’d heard the rule was literally, “when in doubt leave it out.” This, brought to you by the same people that think the three R’s are reading, writing and arithmetic.

    Hope you psychological trick works, best of luck. I’m sure this is riddled with grammatical errors and I’m sure someone will point them out. Have at it but know I don’t particularly care.

  5. Behind on Twitter and everything else over the weekend, but might as well add a late comment.

    I notice typos. I don’t fret over them too much, but I notice them. In particular, if I’d like to reference a post, and refer others to it, I would prefer to have no typos or grammatical errors. The lack of errors just makes the post or article seem more credible. So good luck with your efforts to eradicate typos. I sympathize, given the challenge of poor eyesight.

    As an aside, I had wondered about why you didn’t drive. Now I understand. That lifestyle change would be a big one for most of us.



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