Monthly Archives: October 2010

Oops: An Analysis of the Typo

Have you ever pondered the typo? For some, encountering a typo is an oh-who-cares moment. For others, and that includes writers, it’s a menace. But what is a typo? You probably know its official moniker, “typographical error”—an error made while typing. But does a writer’s bad grammar count as a typo? What about incorrect punctuation? Or words that a spell-checker slips in when we’re not paying attention? And just how deadly can typos be? I started scrutinizing typos (beyond finding and correcting them in my own docs) when a product manager at work complained that a draft I’d sent to review had a typo. I then had to explain to …

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The Dumbest Thing I Ever Did (Last Week)

“Imminent Hard Drive Failure.” These four words dotted the DOS screen of my laptop about ten days ago during a reboot. The first thing I did? Called the Help desk and asked them to ship me a new laptop. (I work a state away from my employer.) The next thing: I burned all my working files to DVD. Because I work remotely, and because my Internet connection relies on an air card over VPN, backing up to the corporate shared drives every night is not an option. So I’ve been storing files on my C drive and pushing them out to my shared drive every now and then. Yes, I …

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Paper or Plastic?

I’m on a plane on my way home from a conference in Virginia. (Cue the whiny child, the gentleman utterly befuddled by the task of storing his small suitcase in the overhead bin, and the “random” pat down—apparently there is something about my 5’9”, slightly overweight, brown-haired, green-eyed, bespectacled self that looks suspicious to the TSA.) My carry-on luggage: My laptop and case, my purse, and my Day-Timer. The guy next to me chats on an iPhone, which he fails to turn off when the flight attendant tells him to, so I tell him to. The man across from me pokes at his Blackberry with a well-manicured fingernail. Behind me …

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