Menu

Making a commitment to better output: NO MORE F*CKING TYPOS

The number-one cause for broken pages, missed messages, mysterious errors, and general frustration is, from where I stand, uncorrected fat-finger errors. I say uncorrected because the problem isn’t the mistake, it’s that the mistake is made live and propagates. So, I’m proposing a simple solution: the F-word.

Two kinds of typos

To be clear, I’m only speaking about one kind of typo here as there are two types:

  1. Typos that cause problems
  2. Typos that don’t cause problems

A misspelled word in your blog post, content page, or email probably isn’t going to cause a problem. What will cause a problem is a typo in a link, file structure, or code file. Additional problem-causers:

  • Misspelled names (people hate that)
  • Misspelled URLs (people hate that too)
  • Misspelled word in headlines (might not cause a problem but it’s a big typo, literally, so it’s extra embarrassing)
  • Incorrect date on a publication

A new name for a problem-causing typo: the F*CKING Typo

I’m calling that first type of typo above a “F*cking Typo” because that’s what you say when an hour of problem-solving leads you to a missing letter. It’s also what you say when someone publicly corrects your painfully obvious error.

The best solution: a reminder

To help myself cut way down on F*cking Typos, I’ve made myself a reminder that I printed and placed on my monitor. It occurred to me that everyone needs this kind of reminder so I’m offering it to you, completely free of charge, in two formats: the original version, vulgarity in tact, and a more PC, office version with an asterisk replacing a key vowel. Print, choose, cut, and tape it to your monitor.

Download the F*cking Typo reminder [PDF]

That said…I’m only human

The lamest excuse someone could give for making a dumb mistake is “it’s complex!” Working on the web is, in fact, complicated, but the reason errors are made is that humans are fallible and perfection is impossible. Ask anyone who has written a book and they’ll tell you they found typos even on the hundredth time they read the final draft.

I try hard to get things right the first time but it always helps to have a second (third, fourth) pair of eyes so I’m not embarrassed to submit (mock or proof) pages with a few errors. In my mind, I’d rather get it to you quickly and correct errors on the second round than spend an inordinate amount of time looking for slip-ups.

Replies

Total: 2

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Josh

    April 16, 2010 at 7:30 am  •  Reply

    Josh says:

    Thanks for the comment, Brenda.

    “loses credibility immediately” that’s really important to keep in mind. If you’re trying to build trust and a brand, personal or otherwise, a pile of typos (or one “f*cking typo”) can do a lot to undo what your great writing and thoughtful ideas did. I don’t think I’ve ever re-read something of mine and not found a problem, grammar, spelling or otherwise.


  2. Brenda Somich

    April 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm  •  Reply

    Brenda Somich says:

    Hi Josh!

    Great post. For me, it’s the difference between the detail-oriented and “the others.” People can write on a fantastic topic, have all the right buzz words, but if it’s poorly written and has typos (especially when it counts), it loses credibility immediately. Hopefully your post makes people reflect upon their own content and take a moment to read it over twice.

"Policy"

If you've got something to say about the above, now is your time. I moderate for spam, relevance, and abuse but, aside from that, this is an open forum. I will not publish your email address but feel free to be anonymous. If you just have a general question or want to get in touch, my contact form is the best place for that. Thanks in advance!