Typos you shall always have with you

Aug 14, 2014 | Better Writing

Everyone makes typos

We all make mistakes.
Typos are mistakes.
Therefore we all make typos.

Even you. Even me. All of us.

The story of a typo

Michael McKinney’s LeadershipNow blog is one of my favorites. It’s always well written. But a little while ago, I spotted a typo in one of Michael’s headlines. I did what I always do when that happens.

I sent Michael a private message that started with something like, “Heads up! I think you’ve got a typo in your headline” and then included details. He fixed the typo. Then he sent me a message: “Thanks! The stuff I miss makes me crazy.”

Boy do I get that! There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as looking at an old post and realizing that there’s a major league typo right there for the world to see. But we all make them.

How to reduce the frequency and stupidity of your typos

Since you won’t stop making typos, the best you can do is catch and fix as many of them as possible. The good news is that some of the things that will make your writing better overall will also catch your typos. Here are some of them.

Let your writing rest

Don’t publish right away. If you let your writing rest a while, you’ll see all kinds of issues, including typos when you get back to it.

Read your writing aloud

Your tongue will catch things that your eyes miss. Read slowly. Pretend you’re a radio announcer.

Have someone else look at your writing

Other people spot your typos way better than you do. So, have them look at your work before you publish. To get even better results, have them read your material aloud.

Run spell and grammar checkers

Before you publish, let technology work for you. Run the grammar and spellchecker that are part of your word processing program.

Test what’s testable

It’s easy to make an error in a URL. Test your links before you publish.

Bottom Line

You will make typos. Everybody does. But your writing will be better if you use these ideas to catch as many as possible and improve your writing in the process.

I caught three typos in this post before I published. I may have missed others. If I did, please let me know so I can fix them.