Fingers fly, typos transpire

I noticed a couple of Twitter friends lamenting their inability to spell certain words on the first go. This led to a question from me with hashtag in place, and the ensuing conversation became what someone called a therapy session for copy editors, a chance to come clean with our imperfections.

I put the question out there, “What are some typos your fingers make that your brain knows are wrong?” I wasn’t asking for hard-to-spell words that come back to haunt us, but the words we immediately know we’ve messed up because we’ve momentarily lost control of our fingers.

“Teh,” is a common one, so common that I’m told it’s become gamer slang. There is “fo” instead of “of;” “Firday” for “Friday” — those I expected. What I found most interesting was the number of people who misspell their own names. “Ay” instead of “Amy.” “Jiame” instead of “Jaime.”

Regina White said she finds herself typing Regina Whtie (“Oh to be McGillicuddy!”). Stan Carey said he writes “Stab” or “Stabn” a few times a week.

“Sadly, my name,” said Anne Stibor. “‘Anen’ instead of ‘Anne’ (According to my fingers, my name is now A-n-e-n-delete-delete-n-e’).”

I was scratching my head over this, but at least twice since then I’ve had to correct “Makr” at the bottom of an e-mail.

“My name unfortunately comes out ‘Lousie’ if I am not careful,” said Louise Julig on Facebook. “Not a good thing.”

Carol Terry said “Despite many years typing Carol, my fingers like to sign off as Carpl.”

Lori Burwash sometimes types “Loir.” (“For the French version of ‘Lori,’ I guess.”)

“I always type LAura — like I’m shouting the first part of my name at them,” offered Laura Lampe.

“My spell check always kicks in after I sign off as Luara,” said Laura Barrett.

I often misspell my name, Ricahrd–I mean Richard,” said “Annoyed Richard.”

“I often type an j at the end of my name instead of an h,” said Sarah Sammis.

“Krisitn. I’d never be a Krisi,” said Kristin Thiel.

Some people have the opposite problem. “Any word that starts ‘da’ ends up as my name,” said a teacher who goes by “Lady Strathconn.” Robin Cooke reported: “I often add “e” to the end of “cook.”

“Sometimes I accidentally type ‘Merry Christina’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ because I’m so used to typing my name,” said Christina Galoozis.

“Many times I have mistyped Jesus for Jevon or vice versa. I start w/ J-e- then… who knows?” said Jevon Bolden.

“It’s impossible for me to type the word “witch” b/c my last name is Witschey. I always want to add the “s!” said Erin Witschey.

Some others:

“I always type studnets instead of students, and teachnology instead of technology,” said teacher JoAnna Cobb on Facebook.

Bottome. Don’t know why, fingers always want to add an e to the end. @briannepruitt

Gaurd instead of guard. @copyeditqueen

I have you instead of your and of instead of off. @BarbInNebraska

“Shittle” for “shuttle.” @andybechtel

I’m a Victorianist and usually type “Vicotrian” in drafts. Also “autsim.” @dvlock

My recurring typo is written. I add a swirly “e” on the ends of words, like “frome.” @BethanyEdits

In handwritting, I often combo words w/out realizing. Ex: “other hand” becomes “othand.” @KristinWithPen

I type “withe” for “with the.” @DiedofEnnui

I almost always write “Forth Worth” for the Texas city. @mattbramanti

“Paragragh” and “reccommend” @JessicaBCI

Phiadeplahia. No, wait. Phiadeplahiua. No. Phialadelphia. Phialdeplhia. Phiadelphia. See? It has a keyboard aversion. @OrangeXW

I’m an architect, and I usually type “construtcion” and “buidling.” Every single day. My CAD program doesn’t autocorrect. @michellegerner

“Bulleting” for “bulletin,” 90% of the times I try for “bulletin.” @OrangeXW

“bothe” is my most common in that department. @stevebwriter

univeristy – every. single. time. @virtuallori

“Now” for “not” and vice versa. a dangerous one.” @lburwash

I regularly type “pateint” when I mean “patient,” and I often misspell my name. @GrammarGirl

I’m embarrassed to say I often leave an “r” out of embarrassed. _steve_hall

recently i’ve been typing “magnate” instead of “magnet” which makes me look like an idiot. @elizabethonline

My most common is probably “think” for “thing.” I do that ALL the time! And “Bethesday” for “Bethesda.” @ErinRagan

Even though I don’t eat red meat, I often mistakenly type “misteak.” @RoxanneCooke

Most common typo is acitivities instead of activities. On iPhone most common is -ig instead of -ing. Drives me nuts @JackieDaly

For some reason, whenever I go to type Phoenix, it comes out Phoebix. I used to have a car I called Phoebe. Type memory. @StaplingJello

Semis for apostrophes? Won;t, isn;t … @LauraSBarrett

I type the word media a lot (Culinary Media Network), I sometimes type Medea instead. VERY different! @ChefMark

Jospeh. @jane_bos

I study – & edit articles on – hypnosis. Lately, my fingers insert an N any time I type a word that begins “H-Y-P”. @ButMadNNW

“Evenutally” and “watn” for “want” @MariaHench

Also tend to add a G to any word ending in I-N. (AND put #type on both these tweets!) @ButMadNNW

I add random final-Es to things that don’t need them. Don’t ask me why. @__Deb

My most common typo: wrok for work, even as part of a larger word. Last couple of days I’ve typed Dilpomacy a few times. @dudgeoh

My most common is occasionally. For some reason always comes out “ocassionally,” so I keep my eyes open for it! @InkyClean

I often end up typing “Untied States” instead of “United States.” I rather like that one. @JenHoward

I often type “YOU” in all caps for no reason at the beginning of a sentence, and constantly type “teh” when I mean “the.” @TimBabbComedian

I always type apostrophes after the contraction. Dont’, wont’, cant’. Word auto corrects to don’t’, won’t’, can’t’. @akimoku

I use a textbook by an author named Flick; I always type Flickr instead. Silly Web 2.0, confusing me like that. ;) @profsivek

Children always ends up childrne. Training winds up trainng. and don’t get me started on my last name ; ) @michellv123

“I can’t type Indiana…ever. Indidna, INdidana, Indidana…I have to come to a crawl when I type it. Too many vowels.” Lisa Higgins, via Facebook

“I *always* type “reasearch” instead of “research.” Erin McKean

“traffice”–I have no idea why. @MarkWSchumann

Oh! One of my classics, a shadow of my Highlander fandom days: “Methos” for “Method.” @ButMadNNW

As I’ve just been reminded I seldom get “particularly” right first time – I have “particulalry” on auto-correct. @stevebwriter

For me, it’s “hospital.” It always comes out “hopsital” unless I make a conscious effort. Sandy Sutton, via Facebook.

I wonder how many people type “greatful”? (Like the “reasearch” mentions.) @frindley

Embarrassingly, “Knasas” for “Kansas.” @grammarmonkeys

Don’t ask me why, but I almost invariably type “thnaks” when I mean “thanks.” @mjcp

As a health care editor, I often type “medial” instead of “medical.” No help with spell check there. @azmattmorgan

Funny, I just typed “speach.” Never done that before. This discussion has got typos on my mind! @marlamarkman

“Form” when I mean “from.” grrr @SpellboundBkshp

Lately my typo is mangement instead of management. I think it’s some sort of doggy skin disorder. @Lori_writes

I type “studnet” for “student” most of the time. @AimeeGissel

I type “Sna Diego” a lot. And I triple check each time I type it to make sure I don’t claim to be in “pubic relations.” @Stefaniya

Look waht (or what) you started, … I was typed my full name on a form as Gerri Berri because I wasn’t paying attention. @gerrrib

I put notes on stories all the time that say “wtih pix.” @gerrrib

Mange rather than manage, manger rather than manager. @ciaramoynihan

When your typo hang up is teh instead of the, people know what you mean. When it’s “trail” instead of “trial,” you’re being confusing. @gerrrib

I often type “pronunication” for “pronunciation.” Very embarrassing. @pronuncian

Always have trouble with point. Even though the first 3 letters are right there in a row, I usually type “opint.” @4ndyman

So used to typing “ing” at word’s end that anything ending in “in” gets a G added: begin(g), satin(g), Palin(g) @4ndyman

Taht/that @kgrindrod

decision and prescious – see?- I mean precious. @aubergineword

I often type “itme” instead of “time” and “enterpreneur” instead of “entrepreneur” lol. @maheshrmohan

The list already seems exhaustive. But with such a variety represented here, I suspect there are still many more. What’s your typo?

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13 thoughts on “Fingers fly, typos transpire

  1. Going back to typewriter days, I constantly typed “mean” when I meant “men.” Freudian typo-logy?

  2. This is a very funny list. Thanks for compiling it, Mark, and for getting the discussion going in the first place.

    Regarding teh for the, you might be interested in Tracy Rene LeBlanc’s Master’s thesis: “Is there a translator in teh house?” (PDF, 1.23 MB); it includes a short and interesting discussion about teh on pp. 34–35.

  3. Constantly putting in semis instead of apostrophes, ‘form’ instead of ‘from’ – the usual suspects. I’m always misstyping my name, though – comes out as Shaton instead, which if you read as though it were hyphenated, can be a bit dodgy!

  4. “Teh” is such a common typo that it has its own (or pwn) entry in Wikipedia (as does “pwn”). Me, I always add a “g” to any word ending in “in.” So “thin” becomes “thing” and “sin” becomes “sing.”

  5. Recently I’ve had to watch out for a tendency to drop the “e” in my own name, spelling it “Mad.” I guess you don’t need Carl Jung to figure that one out……

  6. For starters, I’m always mixing up it’s/its. No matter how hard I try!

    The one that always makes me laugh though is I often type “inslut” when I mean “insult” and “conslutant” when I mean “consultant.” I sometimes wonder if it’s/its a subconscious commentary on how I feel about consultants.

  7. This is great! Reassuring to know that it happens to everyone. I often have troubel (oops, that should be trouble) typing my own name. Often comes out AMy, or if I’m in even more of a rush, may or ymA. Although sometimes I wonder if it’s just that I’m not hitting the keys hard enough! I’m sure there are others, but none so pervasive that they jump to mind. Though teh (tehre – ha! – we go again) classics get me too (obviously). I also have trouble with spaces (sticky space bar?) and often end up splitting words in the wrong place.

    Knowing what sometimes trips up other people, ANY time a text mentions something that’s “public,” I immediately do a search on “pubic,” just to make sure. In fact, I’m going to add that to my Edit Tools list right now, so it’ll highlight it if it shows up.

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