The Topography of The Typo

I keep telling myself that  – like ET —  I am not alone. There must be someone else out there on earth or in space who makes typos while fingers fly oh-so-smartly over the keyboard. Is there anyone out there like me?

I’m always shooting off an error-ridden mail only to regret at leisure as it stares at me in the Sent box — or worse, when it returns as a thread in my Inbox.  I spend those tossing, pillow-scrunching nights wondering if anyone notices — or thinks I can’t spell.

Did I really sign off as Brst Wishes, Saumya to a literary acquaintance I wanted to impress?  Well, seven times out of ten, I misspell ‘best’ in the hurry to hit the Send key, so yes. I fondly send Brst Fishes, too.

Plenty more of that ilk: I may be offending my North American friends by my constant references to the Untied States, and I once miswrote the name of a salesperson for an online hair and beauty website as Licy Organ. (Lucy Morgan.) What happens when I wish someone the best of luck? Well, you already know about the brst.  As for the luck, of course the letter “f” is placed a whole four letters away (albeit on the same line) as the letter “l”, but somehow fingers slip … and behold, an innocent email becomes instant porn.  I really shouldn’t be mentioning the time when the “k” in the word “book” was replaced by the letter “b”  in a phrase I sent for a magazine interview: “My favourite books through history are …” (Yes, Freudian analysis of my typos may be necessary.)

Trouble is, while authors have editors to erase howlers and bloomers before readers get hold of their books, once the “literary” email winds its way through cyberspace, there is no turning back.

Still, surely my transposing of Dear Anne for Fear Anne, is understandable when the letters “d” and “f “are kissing cousins on the keyboard. Even when I write Deaf Anne instead of Dear Anne, there is no crime I have committed although the typos are unlikely to endear me to Anne. Or, for that matter, to Jill — whom I have once addressed as Dear Kill and asked her to say “Hell” from me to James.

As for iPhone text messaging, it’s a minefield for typos  – and Anglocentric despite the hordes of bright-eyed Indian software engineers swarming Cyber California and beyond. Ever tried typing “Bollywood”?  iPhone insistently changes it to “Hollywood”. (Three times.) Try typing “arre” or “yaar” and a red rebuke line appears underneath to query your questionable decision to switch to a non-English word.  I know, I know, there is a language keyboard function, still…

There are more typos I could mention. I shall not, however, reveal more until I know I am not akone. Sorry, alone.

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