typo calling


A while ago I wrote a blog about the etiquette of typo calling.

At the time it was pretty well received, and after an incident yesterday, I felt compelled to share it again.

What happened?

I messed up. Yes, I hold my hands up and admit I let a glaring typo slip through the net.

How did I find out?

By someone pointing a big, fat finger at me on Twitter.

Yes, a fellow copywriter decided to slap me in the face Twitter-style for all to see.

OK, I the typo was in the title so I should have spotted it, but you know what? I’m human. I make mistakes.

I wish I didn’t. I hate that feeling when I’ve read and read something umpteen times only to publish it and then find an obvious typo I should have picked up earlier.

I don’t mind being picked up on my bloopers (in fact I welcome it because it gives me the opportunity to put it right), but I do object to people being so in-your-face about it. In fact, only someone who can guarantee they have never made a mistake in their life has the right to be so high and mighty about it – and that person doesn’t exist.

That’s why for the sake of harmony, courtesy and good manners, I’m reposting The Etiquette of Typo Calling.


The Etiquette of Typo Calling

You’ve settled down for a coffee break.

Being the diligent, dedicated worker that you are, you’ve decided to spend your 15 minutes reading up on a subject that you’re working on at the moment.

After a quick Google search, you’ve found an article that looks as though it will tell you everything you need to know.

As you settle down the writing engages you and you lose yourself in it completely, soaking up the knowledge from the screen.

Just as you reach the final paragraph you notice a typo. It’s nothing catastrophic, there’s just a letter missing. It doesn’t detract from the information, but it stands out to you.

What do you do?

  1. Skip over it, after all it’s not hurting anyone
  2. Slam your mug down in disgust and state you’ll never read any of their work again
  3. Send a DM tweet to bring their attention to the mistake
  4. Leave a caustic/sarcastic comment at the end of their blog post

We are all human

Granted, mistakes shouldn’t happen, but they do.

At times, it doesn’t matter how often you read through something, errors will slip through.


Because you’re human.

Can you really imagine a world where no one makes mistakes?

Me neither.

So, getting back to the quandary, what should you do?

As a writer I make mistakes (shock horror!). I try not to, but every now and then one will slip through.

Personally, I welcome a DM tweet to let me know so I can go back and correct it. I see it as something positive. After all, it means that someone has liked my writing enough to read the entire article and that they care enough to let me know there’s a typo – that’s pretty special.

I’ve also had smart arses that have left curt comments on my blog when they’ve found an error. Right, like they’ve never made a mistake in their life. My response is generally a sweet “why thank you so much for pointing that out to me”, but they don’t put themselves in a good light.

You see, there are various ways of doing things.

Some decisions will show you as caring and thoughtful, others as someone who loves to revel in the mistakes of others like some God that never gets anything wrong.

Next time you come across a typo stop and think. How would you like to be treated? Everyone makes mistakes – EVERYONE – just remember that.

Why have I written this post?

I’ve already admitted to making the odd mistake now and then. This post is in response to a lovely lady (and friend) who spotted a missing ‘t’ in a recent post of mine. She was kind enough to DM me so I could correct it.

If I’m feeling particularly mischievous I’ll slip in a deliberate typo just to see if anyone notices.

Keep your eyes peeled.