bizarre typos

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Wed Nov 25 21:52:50 UTC 2009

Considering that the N and C keys placed in the same spot on the keyboard (mirror imaged) maybe the right hand occasionally does no know what the left hand is doing.

Moreover, "raw" hit figures tell us little, esp. when they are not compared to anything. For example, 33,700 come up on a search for "thick and this.".
------Original Message------
From: Alison Murie
Sender: ADS-L
ReplyTo: ADS-L
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] bizarre typos
Sent: Nov 25, 2009 10:54 AM

On Nov 25, 2009, at 12:49 AM, victor steinbok wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      bizarre typos
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Through a friend's post on Facebook (actually, another friend's
> comment on a post), I picked up the combination "through think and
> thin". Given the authors penchant for typos, I had assumed it to be a
> simple typo. But it also bugged me enough to do a search for the
> phrase--it got 18K raw hits. While a handful of hits were incidental
> (e.g., including "..., I think, and thin ..."), the majority do look
> like "You're suppose to support your side through think and thin."
> Another handful (quite literally--about half-dozen) of hits are
> references to the lyrics of a particular song that includes the phrase
> as a play on words. But that hardly accounts for 18000 hits.
> Whatever one may think, I would not argue that this either a 1)
> eggcorn or 2) cupertino effect. Rather, it belongs to a different
> class of errors that creep up on us while we type *without* automatic
> correction. It is a classic word substitution based on frequency--a
> sort of "chunking" that makes us type a word without much thought,
> only to realize later that the word was completely irrelevant, even
> though it shares a few initial literals with the desired gloss. I
> catch myself doing this kind of "automatic pilot" typing with some
> non-trivial frequency (and may be responsible for a substantial
> fraction of the instances of the common word choice errors, such as
> their/there). Your mileage may vary, of course--just because I don't
> think it has a plausible eggcornish derivation or the cupertino
> selection might be too complicated does not mean that everyone has to
> agree with me. But I thought it was worth mentioning at least once.
> Next time you are typing and catch yourself slipping in an incorrect
> word "on automatic pilot" you'll know what I am trying to say here.
> VS-)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
Automatic misspelling notice doesn't catch these either, since
presumably the word is a real word.

The American Dialect Society -

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The American Dialect Society -

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