The sublime typo

We are a culture that likes to make the claim of be a textual culture, a culture of written words, but we only have one word for typos: typo.

We have thousands of words for colors, even the ugly colors, an excess of creative neologisms for finding new and inventive ways to talk about things that have gone terribly wrong in sports plays, or politics, or even interpersonal relations.

But when it comes to things gone amiss in the written word, it is a typo. 

Why, if we are the textual culture we claim to be, do we not have a plethora of words to define the nuances and subtleties of text gone wrong? Used a ? instead of a ! by mistake? Typo. Wrote “teh”? Typo. But both are very different creatures. One may look foolish, but the other can entirely change the meaning of what was written. And don’t even get me started on the rush of internal terror as you realized you missed the “o” in “count”.

Typos bring with them a range of emotions in the writer and in the reader, some humorous, some annoying, some horrifying, some making you scream at auto-correct for yet again fixing it wrong.

We need words to capture these  differences in typos, each properly embracing the emotions and consequences each may bring, for only then can we understand the depth of our errors and the sublime beauty to be found in each and every one, a errant keystroke turned to high fart by the right choice of words.

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