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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Typo Fun

When you write for a living, it is painful to find typographical errors in your published work.  When I find typos in my casebooks, in particular, it feels like a knife in my heart.  So I found this typographical error by the maker of Major League Baseball jerseys to be strangely heartening.

Posted by Lyrissa Lidsky on April 8, 2010 at 02:26 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Did you have a typo in this post on purpose?

Posted by: Stephanie | Apr 8, 2010 3:03:19 PM

Lyrissa: As today I just proofed the, oh, I don't know, eighth iteration of of the "final" proofs of a casebook (the TM, not even the casebook itself) and still found a couple of typos, I completely feel your pain.

Posted by: Bill Araiza | Apr 8, 2010 7:58:45 PM

Bill, you'll literally be stunned when one of your students points out something you didn't catch. I even paid out of my own pocket (not out of my research account) for extra proof readers. I even had my mother read it, which is not as far-fetched as it sounds since she was an English teacher for 40 years. And there were STILL typos.

Posted by: Lyrissa | Apr 8, 2010 8:08:34 PM

Typos don't bother me as much as stylistic problems that you learn about only later. In my first article, I emphasized something every sentence or two. It seemed natural to me because when I'm reading I emphasize words in my head, if that makes any sense. When someone finally pointed out that I overused italics, I reacted with horror when reviewing my prior articles.

Other stylistic "errors" that I have previously made but can never fix include excessive use of quotation marks to show that the way I'm using a word is different from how you should "really" use it, and comma splices. Irrational avoidance of contractions is another problem I have dealt with in my writing.

I have become so sensitive to these problems that I wretch when seeing excessive use of emphases and quotations marks in other works. Ditto for the use of commas to break off the second part of a compound predicate, which is a particularly severe problem in academic legal writing, it seems.

Anyone can make typos, but stylistic problems mean I'm a bad writer. The knife wound accompanying that realization cuts far deeper.

Posted by: andy | Apr 8, 2010 8:32:17 PM

My own bete noir is stringing sentences together with semi-colons. Another is excessive use of parenthetical commentary (like this).

Posted by: Lyrissa | Apr 8, 2010 9:18:40 PM

I can't stand random capitalization.

Posted by: anon | Apr 9, 2010 12:07:46 PM

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