George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Aug 11 22:17:19 UTC 2010

I would apply "typo" to any writing composed on a keyboard, regardless of whether a typewriter or printing type were involved.  It's been a very long time since newspapers or books were set from type.

I wouldn't call a misspelling a typo, nor a mistake in word-choice.
I wouldn't apply typo to a miswriting in script or hand-printing.

Typo is 4 keystrokes, misspelling 11, miswriting 10 -- that will be a factor.

I made & corrected 5 typos in this message.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 4:35 pm
Subject: Re: "typo"

> Isn't a misspelling a form of "typo"? If a typesetter transposed two
> letters or otherwise misspelled a word, wouldn't that clearly be a
> typo? If the typesetter is now a writer sitting in front of a computer
> running Microsoft Word, using technology that no longer requires the
> separate function of a typesetter, are the writer's mistakes still
> typos?
> I would argue the misspelling on the school wall is not a "typo", but
> only because of the medium. In any form of written material, however,
> wouldn't a misspelling correctly be a typo?
> DanG
> On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 4:20 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> > Subject:      "typo"
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > With the ubiquity of computerized word-processing, the standard (and
> historical) sense of "typo" as 'typographical error' (thus in the OED)
> probably needs revision.  As in the picture making the rounds on the
> internet today, the wrongly-spelled word "school" painted in large
> characters on a street in front of a school.  The error is being
> regularly referred to as a "typo" (not a "painto").
> >
> > http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100811/od_yblog_upshot/behold-americas-educational-system-captured-in-a-single-photograph
> >
> > Now "typo" means simply 'misspelling'?  Or certain kinds of
> mispelling (like transposed characters) but not others?
> >
> > --Charlie
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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