Last Wednesday morning, during my weekly group meeting at Einstein Bagels, I interrupted one of my girlfriend’s as she was telling a story. In fact, if ever there was a blurt, I blurted: “You have something between your teeth.” Then I began apologizing because clearly at some point in the story, I’d quit paying attention to the story, my mind distracted by the (shiny) dark object between two of her teeth. She reassured me, saying it was no problem, “That’s what friends do!” Consensus was that interrupting to report potential embarrassments (such as “you have a booger on your nose” or “your skirt is caught in your underwear”) is acceptable.
Yes, that’s what friends do. But what if you notice something potentially embarrassing and the mishap has mis-happened to a stranger? Do you point out the broccoli or the booger or the wardrobe failure to the unwitting victim? It’s awkward, right?
What if the broccoli is actually a typo? Typos are an inevitable part of publishing. Back in the day, Reader’s Digest had a regular section devoted just to typos that made it into print. Now, with the self-publishing forums of Twitter and Facebook, typos are incredibly easy to publish. It’s not always clear if the error is due to speed-typing/publishing or ignorance. Personally, I’m trying (heaven help me) to take the 3 extra seconds to read what I’ve written before I hit “publish.” Even so, I’ve recently published these jewels:
Oh, the humanity!
I accept that I’m fallible. We are human, and humans make mistakes. Unfortunately, I suffer from a blessing/curse caused by a damned gene (or possibly the fault of my upbringing) that has given me an eye for typos. I see them everywhere, just as Cole Sear sees dead people in The Sixth Sense. Sometimes they’re funny and sometimes they just make me wonder (i.e. the “funiest facebook status typo” fan page, apparently created to showcase one noteworthy facebook status. The misspelling of “funnies” appears to be inadvertent):
Now, the dilemma: if you find an error on a website, how do you graciously point this out to the publisher? Michael Hyatt, recently retired CEO from Thomas Nelson Publishing, has been putting up with my feedback for a while. He is always gracious. Don’t get me wrong – he doesn’t make a lot of typos. But when one slips by, I assume he’d like to know about it, so I send an e-mail. Perhaps he counts me as a credit on his path to sainthood. I just know that it is a relief to send him a note, receive his response, and ultimately see the typo corrected. Okay, so I’m a little OCD. This is not new news.
So what’s eating at me enough to warrant an entire post? Hapiness. Yes, “hapiness”. This appeared on Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project website:
Ironically, although I follow both Gretchen and Mr. Lady, neither have reciprocated. I realized this when I went to DM them. I spent a bit of time reliving Middle School Angst, fretting about why they never followed me back, but we won’t go there (or you’re welcome to speculate in the comments – you can’t come up with anything I haven’t already considered in my paranoid “why don’t they like me” soul-search). So we can suffice it to say, they are not my friends. Not enemies, but not friends. So…do I point out the slip?
In general, not everyone is as gracious as Michael Hyatt. I’ve grown gun-shy about pointing things out. So I ask you: If it were your blog, would you want a stranger to point out an errant keystroke?