The Difficulty of Spotting Errors and Typos

The Difficulty of Spotting Errors and Typos

How Do you Spell school Again?

It is happened many times that when people correct errors, they create additional errors. One thinks of Winston Churchill’s famous

“That is the kind of English, up with which I will not put”

Or George W. Bush

“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

Amusingly, Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics, pointed out an error in the Economist. He argued the Economist had unwittingly dropped an r from pastries. He pointed out that the Economist had misspelt it pasties. He blogged about it here

Unfortunately, for Stephen, he didn’t realise there is actually a foodstuff called Cornish pasties; so the Economist was right and he had a bit of egg on his face. Just to finish off the joke, the Economist sent him a chicken and vegetable pasty through the post. – Pasties, Pasties everywhere

I have seen many people point out errors, only to make more errors themselves. It’s certainly happened to me; although, conveniently I can’t remember the specific examples.

1 comment so far ↓

meghnak on 07.18.08 at 1:39 am

This is very interesting. People, either for helping or for showing that they know more, point out typos, sometimes only to find that they were wrong. The ‘pasties’ one was interesting.
Thank you for sharing!

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