Ron Rosenbaum

Typos and iBooks

A commenter justly calls me to task for typos and and asks why. (In the last post I left the second “p” out of purportedly. I won’t make any wisecracks about people not being able to figure it out, the commenter is correct in that it looks “unprofessional” and I’ve corrected it. (Or “unrofessional” as I originally had it.)

The mechanical reason is that the “p” key on my iBook has come unmoored and all “p”s require a greater effort to make them register. (Does anyone else have this experience: that iBooks begin to fall apart after 3 years and the extended warranties run out, and the best option then becomes not to repair, but to buy a new one? Wonder why?

But I have been negligent in using spell-check in part (originally “in art”) because I’ve been trying to do shorter posts, thinking that I’ll do them more frequently. But I think I only have a certain number of ideas that I don’t think are obvious, run of the mill and are worth bothering readers with. Many bloggers don’t allow this to inhibit them, I just can’t write anything for the sake of writing something.

And so when I do get an idea I think is a blog item I race to get it on the screen, on to the site in the improvisational, yes sometimes unprofessional way, that I thought was part of the spirit of blogging. Different from journalism and book writing that goes through layers of copy-editors, editors, proofreaders, all to the good for the most part. But different. More considered obviously. I think the form is designed for the not-too-over-considered and subsequent re thinking. Sharing first draft thoughts with readers and getting their reaction. I maintain that my misspellings are a sign of this blog’s un mediated authenticity! (only half-serious here)

Nonetheless I don’t think this is a widely shared attitude, or anyway when misspellings become frequent, some people’s tolerance for what I regard as the Kerouac-like immediacy of the blog can become irritating. So I will give in to The Man, if that’s what you want and go back to spellcheck, however much it inhibits my spontaneous creativity. (Kidding!) But interesting that Safari spellcheck still considers : “blog” and “bloggers” misspellings. And as I point out in discussing the blogger morphing of “teh” from misprint to deliberate alternative specifiersometimes typos can take on a life and dignity of their own.

BTW, iBook users, I’d like to hear if your machines start falling apart like clock-work after three years.