There are errors and then there are typos

Some mistakes are annoying, but some of them are just hilarious

I was a good typist; at my high school typing was regarded as a secondary female sex characteristic, like breasts.

—   Margaret Atwood

 

 

I

’m not surprised that Margaret Atwood was a good typist. She’s great at everything she does.  Me?  I’m a lousy typist (my breasts are no hell either) — but I don’t fret about it because when it comes to typing, fate has given all of us, ept and otherwise, a great leveling device — the typo.

Anybody, saint or sinner, genius or journeyman, can make a typographical error.  It’s simply a mistake made in the typing of a document or other printed material.  Now, thanks to that infernal computer Nazi called Spellcheck, typos are even easier to make.

Yew sea wad eye mien, don’t ewe?

Typos are usually meaningless but occasionally hilarious. Not long ago the Toronto Sun ran a short item apologizing for an error.

“Incorrect information appeared in a column” …the piece began.  Unfortunately it ran under a boldface headline that read CORRERCTION.

A college catalogue description for a course in Shakespeare: Intensive analysis of Hamlet, Macbeth and Anatomy and Cleopatra.”

A luncheon menu: “Today’s special: Dreaded Veal Cutlet.”

And the New York Post is a two-time loser.  On Monday it ran a story that said “…Sergeant Alfred Blaine is a twenty-year defective on the New York police force.”

The next day it ran a correction: “Sergeant Alfred Blaine is a twenty-year detective on the New York Police Farce.”

My favourite typo occurred nearly 150 years ago.

It was made by a German chemist studying the iron content of vegetables.  In transcribing data from his notebook, the chemist ascribed 35 milligrams of iron to each 100-gram serving of spinach.

Big mistake.  He should have put a decimal point between the three and the five – i.e.: 3.5 milligrams per 100 grams. It was only a dot —  the smallest typographical mark you can make — but it transformed a so-so green into a miracle muscle builder and eventually gave us Popeye the Sailor Man.

“I fights to the finich

‘Cuz I eats me spinach!

I’m Popeye the Sailor man.”

The popularity of the Popeye comic strip increased American consumption of spinach by over 30 per cent.

So.  Truth in advertising?

Me muskels is hard

‘Cuz I eats me chard.

Nah.  Just doesn’t sing.

 

Arthur Black is a regular columnist.

 

 

Just Posted

Controversial SD69 discussions continue regarding field trips requiring air travel

Some Qualicum district students believe motion takes away too much from experience at school

Library month celebrates Indigenous people, culture in Parksville

Vancouver Island Regional Library showcasing culture of many Nations during October

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks eliminating fish farming in open ocean pens

May stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

Fashion Fridays: 5 things to remove from your closet

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Most Read