Just My Typo: From “Sinning with the Choir” to “The Untied States” Compiled by Drummond Moir
I decided to read this little book as a break from a massive tomb on evolution that I’m slogging through. This delightful piece of brain candy was what I needed to break up the pain my mind was feeling from trying to process natural selection repercussions that are generally quite bleak.
Just My Typo: From “Sinning with the Choir” to “The Untied States” is a collection of English misses and gaffes compiled by long-time editor Drummond Moir. Since most of these mistakes printed in the book are headlines, titles, and other short instances, this book only took me about a day and a half to read.
This book contains errors that will delight English majors and really hit home with my fellow journalists. In every chapter, there are featured typos called “When Typesetters Lose it” that hit home with those of us in print that sometimes substitute a random non-sensical letter block for words we intend to fill in later. Forgetting to go back and actually replace logical speech for “asdfjkl;” causes laughable errors as showcased by this feature in every chapter.
The book highlights typos in every field, displaying them in such a way that makes for a fun exercise to spot the error in each block of text. The chapters include typos in literature, media, historical and political significance, abroad, food related, legal, and typos that have actually cost a pretty penny to rectify. One such example is a real doozy, that occurred in 1962 when a missed hyphen resulted in NASA’s Mariner 1 being sent into the ocean rather than its intended destination of Venus. Ouch.
One other particularly enjoyable chapter is “Autocorrect Dysphoria: The Future of the Typo.” We are all aware of how autocorrect can completely change what we mean to say with its supposedly well-meaning suggestions. This chapter provides some real laugh out loud instances of this relatively new phenomenon in English troubles. Fair warning, most of the errors here and in the rest of the book are amusing to those with only the most refined sense of potty humor. For example, the most common of all typos seems to be the missing ‘l” from “public” that instantly turns any sentence it contains into something of quite a different meaning. The Autocorrect chapter is followed by the charming chapter on typos from children. These two chapters alone make for a good excuse to pick this book up.
There may not be a lot of substance to this book, but it is amusing and provided a much appreciated laugh in every chapter as well as a reminder to all readers and writers to be conscientious in their proofing.
I received “Just My Typo” by Drummond Moir as a complimentary review copy from the Web site Blogging for Books. All opinions and statements in the review above are my own.