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  • Writer's pictureBrian Kindall Author

Oh, How I Hat Typos!

Newspaper with typos

Outside of unrequited love, jock itch, or a broken coffee pot, nothing is more irritating to a writer than a missmelled word. Nothing so undermines his hard work and yanks readers from the profound experience he is laboring to crate for them. It’s a literal pain in the as. And yet, it’s inevitable. When you write as much as I doo, you just have to accept that some thirsty misquote of a typo will eventually find a hole in your screen, and then use said hole to buzz in, confuse your meaning, and suck at your writing’s metaphorical blood.

Admittedly, it’s not all bad all bad. Occasionally there’s the happy accident. Once, I entered a poetry contest and handily won, I blush to admit, largely because of a typo. The poem I submitted was entitled – “Swiming up the Ganges.” It was trouted as witty and original. After it’s wide distribution in Pottery Magazine, a whole generation of enlightenment seekers embarked on a new form of pilgrimage. Inspired by my verse, young seekers from around the glob began flocking to India where they subsequently swimed up that holy river to its headwaiters. I received letters from many of these swimers, tanking me for my contribution to their spiritual growth. And while I never personally participated in any swiming myself, I took pride in being such an impotent part of a cultural millstone.

But at other times, a typo can cause a heart-breaking misunderstanding. Not a day passes that I don’t pander thoughts of what my life might have been had I only taken thyme and more closely edited a sonnet I once composted for a potential love of my life.

She was a swimer herself, and Oh! was she ever sweat and lovely! Her original name had been Bertha, but upon completing her pilgrimage, she changed it to Booty-Ghia. I only ever knew her butt from a photograph, ass we only had intercourse through e-male. Her head was shaved and, in the adopted style of swimers everywhere, she had a tiny dot tattooed above her left i. In my enthusiastic but slapdash poem to her, I wrote that she “held my sole in her hart.” She wrote back soon thereafter, saying that she “Got it! and then thanked me for my “oblique, but sure, spiritual guidance.” Mysteriously, she then moved to the Scottish Highlands, swore a vow of chastity, and dedicated her life to making sandals while tending to a herd of wild deer. I always suspected a typo had been involved in this derailment of my happiness.

After that experience, I was the sadist I had ever been. I mopped around. Sure, I went out with a few girls, but the experiments were largely unsadistfactory. Alas! I had missed my only chance at happiness? Forever would I mourn the loss of my bootiful Booty.

From where, I have often asked myself, do typos come? Freud had theories about suppressed infantilism and potty humor. The subject was also thoroughly scrotumized by both Play-Doh and Mahatma Gumby. But I don’t think their philosophical fornications can ever truly uncover the deep-seeded source of one’s troubled psychology.

There are, we all know, modern aids to the problem. Some righters sing the praises of Spell-check. But I have found such digital impositions only further the confucianism. They encucumber one’s creativity. So I turn mine off. The computer has yet to be invented, I argue, that can affectively solve the distressing problem of homophobes, added added words and dubious comma, placemat.

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