Big Typo: Fighting the Urge to Speak Up



So yesterday, I opened up the new issue of one of my favorite magazines (the only one I subscribe to right now). I just happened to turn to one of the issue’s major features. What was the first thing I saw? A glaring typo. Not just a spelling error in the text, but a grammar error in the headline: big, black, bold, for all the world to see.

“Everything You Ever Needed to Know….Was Discover in 1937.” Discover? Discovered? Typos, especially big, obvious typos, bother me, whether I find them in my own work, on a street sign, or in the PowerPoint presentation at church (caught that one a couple weeks ago). The dilemma of whether or not to point out the typo is kind of like deciding whether to tell your friend that his or her fly is unzipped, or she has spinach in her teeth. You don’t want to point it out, because your friend will be embarrassed, but it’s hard to ignore the spinach once you’ve seen it.

The urge to contact an editor with my favorite magazine is strong. But this time, I will resist. These editors are smart, and I am sure they have caught the typo by now. To complicate matters, I just turned in my first feature for this wonderful magazine. I don’t want to come off like Ms. smarty pants at a time when I am building a relationship with these folks.

However, I will point out the litany of typos I found on the “About Us” page of an online publication that may or may not hire me for some regular work. I’m not attached to this gig. It has potential to be tedious. If they offer me the gig, I will take it, because I could use the extra income, but if they don’t, I will not be upset. Because there is no attachment, I don’t care if they think I’m Ms. smarty pants. So I’ll point out the missing period at the end of a sentence and the missing hyphen elsewhere. The company can then decide if they want to remove the grammatical spinach from its teeth or not.

What do you do when you catch typos?

PS, if you find a typo in this post, feel free to let me know!

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