Lyric Fire: Please Fix That Typo In Your Bio!

I love writing. I love reading. Lord knows I do! I love reading all sorts of writing. Books, blogs, hard news, feature writing, social media sites, comment threads, the back of soup cans. Yes, I’m serious. I will read anything at any time. But the thing that can spoil my writing and reading experience, the very bane of my existence is the dreaded typo! We all suffer from “typoitis.” It is a dreaded finger and brain disease that afflicts billions of people on a daily basis. It strikes for many different reasons. Sometimes our brains are working slower than our fingers and at others our fingers are moving faster than our brains. Sometimes the cause can be traced back to our early education. Perhaps our teachers weren’t up to par. Perhaps we weren’t the best students. But I think one of the biggest reasons why we are developing typoitis at an alarming rate is due to our fascination with and usage of social media. Let’s delve into this.

Before we go any further, I must admit that despite the graphic above, I do make typos. More times than I would like to admit actually. In evaluating my own typoitis condition I’ve noticed that I make the most typos while texting or engaging in conversations on Facebook and Twitter. Now more often than not, I always blame the technology! Oh darn this phone! The predictive text is acting up! Or dag blast Facebook! It doesn’t auto-correct our writing! But if truth has to be told, I am the cause of each typo that I make. When I am in social mode, my mind runs faster. I feel obligated to return messages at a rapid rate because I feel the person I’m speaking to needs my immediate feedback. Communicating through social channels, like texting or through social sites can be akin to fast-food drive-through shopping. We don’t want to wait for the response too long. We want it steaming hot and with a side of fries thank you very much!

Communicating effectively is supposed to involve accurate and articulate language is it not? It can even be considered a bit sensual. Have you ever observed two people speaking to one another? Depending on the subject matter, they often lean in closer and touch one another to solidify a point they are making. Or when they are drawn into fits of laughter or rage, their whole bodies move, contort and engage. Hands touch, legs bump and shoulders flex. In writing, back when we weren’t so inclined to move at the speed of sound, the words were more expressive, the tone was less combative and we longed to receive letters from each other. Letters were a gift to the soul. They were often written on carefully chosen stationary, sprayed with cologne or perfume (if sent to one’s lover) and written with great care. But we no longer have to wait a week or more for a letter, we can receive instant gratification through texting, Twittering and the like. Now that we have removed the time constraint from language, It has been reduced from being a gourmet meal to a quickly dispensed vending machine snack.

Space_Saver_Combination_Snack_Can_Vending_Machine

Don’t get me wrong, snacks can be delicious, but they will never sustain us. We must regain our respect for language before it’s too late! In order to do this, we must shed light on our bad habits and correct them. The following are just a few instances that I’ve noticed in others writing and my own that can be corrected:

  • Using text-speak in everyday communcations such as e-mails and letter writing. Save the Smiley’s, LOL’s, ROFL’s and BRB responses only for phone texting, Instant Messenging and SOME social media situations. If these acronyms start to show up too often in business, personal e-mails and more serious social media interactions, you will not be taken as seriously as you would like. You will also begin to lose reverence for language and start speaking and writing in texting shorthand more often than you should.
  • Sabotaging promotional efforts with lackadasical writing and editing. This can be geared toward anyone trying to promote any sort of business, but it is even more critical to those who are trying to build and publicize their writing or editing careers. I can’t begin to count the number of times where I’ve seen a writer, publisher or editor have a social media profile or website bio filled with spelling and grammatical errors! If you are touting yourself as a writer, please take care to proofread your profiles. I have seen the following: Upcoming auther looking for editorial projects… Or, currently working on my fiction novel… Author is misspelled and a novel is a work of fiction so you don’t have to say it twice!
  • Overusing the same words. Admittedly, this is something I have to battle. I took a fiction publishing course a few years ago and this bad habit was quickly brought to my attention! Here is an example: Susan made a wonderful dinner last night! Everyone in attendance kept saying they had a wonderful time! I can’t wait to be invited to her next dinner party. I’m sure it will be just as wonderful as the last! I definitely exxagerated this instance, but you get the point. The best way to eliminate this is to read what you’ve written out loud in your editing process. The eye can get lazy while writing so you may not see this even if you’ve looked at it more than once. Reading your writing out loud can be extremely helpful!

These are just a few ways we can get ourselves back on course when it comes to writing and editing and return to a state of grace in our communications. I welcome your comments, suggestions and additional tips on how we can best cure typoitis!

Please leave your blog and website links in the comments section with your feedback. I am super happy to belong to such a vibrant blogging community and would like everyone to get to know each other better. Try to visit a different site or blog each week to broaden your network and also become exposed to some great writing! Cheers!

*Also, if you notice any typos in this post, please charge it to my head and not my heart! Often when pointing out weaknesses, our own are exposed!

© 2011 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Comments (19 Responses)

  1. Zenichka says:

    I love reading all sorts of writing. Books, blogs, hard news, feature writing, social media sites, comment threads, the back of soup cans. Yes, I’m serious. I will read anything at any time. – yay, finally someone I can identify with! 😀 It’s good to know that I am not the only one who has an almost pathological need to read.
    I hate typos – both when I make them and when someone else makes them. I liked a guy, but all my liking disappeared when we chatted online – considering that English is my second language and his first, I guess I expected him to know his own language better. Seems like my assumption was wrong. Oh well…
    Funny story – this morning at work, we got this e-mail (from higher up, approving an e-publication)…
    “spelling mistake in hwadline.”
    Oh the irony… 😀

  2. Ha! Hi Zenichka! Welcome to Lyric Fire. I appreciate your visit. It is great to meet another word nerd! Wow, I would have been disappointed too regarding your friend. As writers it’s hard to get cozy with people who don’t share our same respect for the written word. I have been there! Work related typos are hilarious when they come from on high aren’t they? It just brings home my point that we are moving too fast when it comes to our words these days. We need to slow down! Cheers and please visit again. Share your blog link if you have one!

  3. David Smith says:

    Interesting post as I share many beliefs about writing with you. I’m often shaking my head after reading articles in print and online; the number of errors are numerous and I’m left wondering if there is an editor on the staff. I do my best to catch and correct any typos in my writing but alas no one is perfect. Texting is another story as quickness is the key and sloppiness seems to be accepted in that realm.
    It’s very frustrating to read a story and repeatedly see the same word popping up. A thesaurus is cheap and even free online so I’m not sure why they’re not consulted by more writers. Stop repeating yourself people!!! Now following… Take care!!
    http://erinsdomain.blogspot.com

  4. blognostics says:

    I agree wholeheartedly about the use of acronyms in writing especially because it takes me a good hour to work out what they mean. Unfortunately it seems to be here to stay.
    I also can understand how you must feel as a writer extraordinaire about others and their Bio’s but it seems in many cases it is not laziness or being in a hurry, rather it is a condition, be it Dyslexia or another motor neuron disease. So I for one give great credit to those talented writers venturing out even knowing they have said condition.
    BTW I Lurved reeding tis lol cheers
    TTYL
    A

  5. Hello David. It is troubling to see such errors on professional sites. But we all are human. As long as we keep the importance of language at the forefront of our minds, these errors will become less and less. Love your feedback on this topic!

  6. Alejandro, I’m so glad you brought up dyslexia and other causes for typos. You are so right on to point out this issue that a lot of people deal with. When I was speaking about taking good care in writing, I of course was not speaking of people that may have learning or communication challenges. I am speaking of those (myself included) who are able to present themselves in writing in a clear way and don’t because of human error or rushing due to social media mechanics. We all have a voice and a story and I appreciate all writers! Your last line was hilarious, classic and so you. Thanks for the visit!

  7. AJ says:

    Ironically, I commit more typos during editing. In my haste to get the piece done, I’d forget to read the entire sentence after I had changed, say, a noun into its verb form. The word is changed but not the sentence construction.
    You’re right, it’s important to read through the article aloud before clicking the publish button. 🙂

  8. sulekha says:

    Tameka, I agree with you but to my disappointment, I make a few typos in my posts too. Maybe due to my thoughts running faster than my hand can type or sometimes due to me not wearing my reading glasses and being too lazy to go and fetch them from the other room before replying or commenting on a post.I enjoyed reading your post, as always.

  9. AJ, that has happened to me as well! You are not alone! As long as we pinpoint the problems we can fix them. Thanks for adding to the discussion!

  10. Sulekha, these are issues we all face. Glad that you shared with us. Hugs, love and light!

  11. How I love your writings….such a nice post n d best part- It is realistic. All I wanna say I have lot to learn from you!!
    God Bless U Dearo!!
    U r v talented Tam n I mean it!!
    Love
    Mani

  12. Errors do come in. It happens with all. And specially for me, this is a big problem. 🙁

  13. Manisha! Thanks so much! I am glad you liked the piece!
    Anshul, it happens to us all. But we can fix it! 🙂

  14. Adriene says:

    I hate typos but it is so much easier to find other’s than it is to find my own. Blogging, facebooking, tweeting: these can make us lazy and careless. However, I embrace the social media and technology that has made it easier for us to communicate. As an impatient person, I love the instant feedback. I also think that there are so many who may have remained silent because they had no outlet can speak up easily now, and that’s a good thing! Excellent post!

  15. Great points Sweepy. I’m with you on all fronts!

  16. rimly says:

    I am always making those typos. It seems my fingers have a mind of their own and before I know I press enter and there it all goes like a dyslexic. Now did I make any here in this commnet? There I go! See? It is comment and not commnet!!!!
    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.com/2011/11/i-am-rose.html

  17. Rimly, ha! This happens to me all the time. As long as we are aware of our finger hiccups we can defeat typoitis!

  18. Oooo Tameka, you touched a sensitive topic. I’m suffering from typoitis and it’s quite embarassing because I work in a journal *blush*.
    I talk the way I write so most often I forget that my hands work faster 😛 and I commit many errors.
    It’s in the comment section that I have real trouble because I can’t edit while in my blog I can.
    I also tend to become redundant…It’s just that wonderful is such a ‘wonderful’ term to use 😛
    Thank you for this professional advice 😉

  19. Melissa, we are all in the same boat! I have to work hard to keep my typos to a minimum and it’s not easy sometimes because my brain is an energizer bunny! Your blog always looks great to me! Hugs dear!

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