Misspelled words. Poor grammar. Hilarious typos. When we find them, we smile. In contrast to cold, brilliant technology, they remind us we’re human.
In a national magazine, I recently read a sentence that startled me. At first I couldn’t understand why. When I read it aloud, it sounded correct. Scanning again, I spotted the culprit. The writer had confused homonyms – pare and pair.
Every tried to pare your slacks with a narrow shirt?
Proofreaders usually catch things like that, but even sharp eyes miss sometimes. During a stint as a magazine editor, I mistakenly used an embarrassing incorrect word in an editorial. It evaded several levels of proofing before, just before press time, someone caught and removed it.
Today’s often carelessly written and quickly sent texts and emails carry multiple mistakes. Many of those are thanks to our devices’ auto-fill or voice record features. (When the sender types or speaks, the machine assumes to know what is meant and quickly types it, saving a few jabs at the keyboard.)
I’ve learned to check twice before clicking “Send” on a text. When I first used a Smart Phone, I spoke the words, “Glory Hallelujah,” while compiling a text to my sister. The phone, not recognizing the recorded phrase, transcribed it as “Aola Lola!” Off it went without a second look. A cluster of laughing happy faces came flying back.
A moment later I spoke the word “Amen!” in response to her incoming comment. My phone typed quickly, and again I clicked send without checking. Another batch of giggling icons arrived. I glanced back to see what I’d sent and found the words, “Hey, Man!”
Bev and I still chuckle over that interchange and have even used it in person. “Aola Lola!” one of us says, happy over good news. “Hey, Man!” the other responds. Our very own verbal high-five.
Cookbooks carry hilarious typos. One suggested using “your own spirts,” to enhance the flavor of a certain dish. (Say what?) Another recommended a sprinkle of salt and “freshly ground people.” Thankfully, pepper grinders don’t come large enough.
Typos escape even the sharp eyes of Bible publishers. “Thou shalt commit adultery,” read a 1631 King James Bible, later known as the “Wicked Bible.” For their accidental omission of the word “not,” authorities fined the publishers three hundred pounds and revoked their licence to print.
The funniest typo I’ve seen recently came in an email from a friend. After relating some exciting news of progress in his ministry, he closed with, “All glory and horror goes to the Lord, Almighty God…”
After I finished laughing, I realized something. He’s right. God gets it all. Every glory and praise for every good thing is rightfully his. But to God’s great heart also has flown every horror ever committed. His to grieve, his to wear – brutal crucifixion scars on the resurrected Jesus Christ – and his to forgive for the asking. But also, ultimately, his to judge.
That typo is worth a long ponder.