The court agreed with Roe that the statue was vague and violated her right of privacy under the ninth and fourteenth amendments.
The court agreed with Roe that the statute was vague and violated her right of privacy under the ninth and fourteenth amendments.
It’s rare that I’ll add a problem sentence that doesn’t involve ice cream—let alone a real example—but this one was just too unintentionally amusing. The problem sentence above was in a paper submitted to me on abortion. The thing that amuses me is the vague statue that violated Roe’s right to privacy. I imagine it was probably something by Henry Moore peeking its head into the young woman’s boudoir…
Anyway, this example illustrates two important points I want to comment on. First, spellcheck will not catch every typo. Sure, it’ll flag it if you type “jugde” or “trhough” or “teh” (though that last one not for long, I’ll bet), but notice that here the author misspelled “statute” without the last “t”, giving us the correctly spelled word “statue”. Spellcheck is a fantastic machine, but it can’t pick up on your intentions (if it could, we might not need writers any longer. I bet Calvino would go for that). So, what to do? Proofread. Even better, get someone else to proofread—that’s the best. Why? First, if you made an error that you’re not sure about, you’re not going to catch it, so there your eyes won’t be any help. Second, an outside reader will be seeing your text for the first time, and will give it the proper attention. When you read over something you’ve written, you get bored, if you’re like me. After all, I know what I wrote; why would I want to read it again?! Plus, you’re likely to just gloss over the mistakes, since you know what you intended to write, and you don’t need to read every word to get it. An outside reader, of course, will need to read every word.
The second point is about typing. Typos are different from misspellings. If you type “disenfranchisement” as “disinfranchisement”, and upon reviewing it you don’t know what the error is, then, yes, you’ve misspelled a word. But if you type, “Yesterday, I went to teh store”, does anyone really think you don’t know how “the” is supposed to be spelled—a word you’ve typed literally more than a billion times (probably; think about it)? No, of course not. It’d be absurd to think that. So why do you think we still make the error? After all, everyone does it. There’s not some magic age we reach where we suddenly stop typing “teh” on accident every once in awhile. So what’s the reason?
Consider this: Provided you’re not dyslexic, would you ever handwrite “teh”? Have you ever? I certainly can never remember doing that. I mean, think of cursive. You’d have to try to write “teh”; no accident would ever produce it. Yet it happens in typing all the time. Why? Because typing is a mechanical procedure that relies on finger dexterity. With handwriting, you just need to know how to form the letters, and what order the letters come in. With typing, you need to, first, have the keyboard memorized (unless you want to take forever to type anything), and then you need to trust that your brain is going to send the signals to the correct fingers in the correct order, and do so extremely fast. Plus, we’re not talking about our money fingers—the index and the middle—oh, no: all four fingers, even lazy ring and hopeless pinky, have to get in on the action. Plus—and this is by far the best part—the job is split between two different hands! Never mind that most of the world is right-handed; the heavy-hitters of the English orthography a, e, t, r and s are all on the left-hand side of the keyboard. What genius thought that up?! Just think about “the”: That’s left-hand index; right-hand index; and left-hand middle. Left-right-left? Is it any wonder that we sometimes slip up and do both the left-hand letters first, it being our uncoordinated hand? And if we’ll admit that, shouldn’t it be shocking to ever produce an entire 2,000 word text without a single error?! Shouldn’t that be the odd occurrence, and not the occasional typo?
Armed with this information, remember: the typo is a mechanico-muscular error. It’s not like a misspelling; you needn’t be ashamed (though even with a misspelling, I mean, come on: the English orthography looks like it was designed by a moron with a blindfold). Accept the fact that as long as typewritten text is our main means of communication (because, let’s face it, that’s what it is nowadays), there will be typos: by you and everyone. We try to minimize them, but they will always crop up, because of the peculiarities of the system we’ve developed. So, whenever you type anything, expect typos, and try to look out for them.
Furthermore, let’s help each other out. This isn’t a test: if someone produces a typo, let them know. It’s just like someone who comes out of the bathroom with toilet paper on their shoe. Yes, it’s embarrassing, so the afflicted will want to know, but there’s no reason to be a jerk about it. Who likes the person who makes fun of someone with toilet paper attached to their shoe? There’s a word for that type of person: bully. You’ll encounter typo bullies in your day-to-day life, but don’t sweat them: they’re not human. If you want to help them out, send them here, and I’ll set them straight.