Why Typos Always Matter, Even Online & In Text Messages [Opinion]

Dave Parrack 09-08-2012

typos are badWe all make mistakes from time to time. It’s natural, a part of life, a learning curve which we use to better ourselves. Typos are no exception. They happen often, and if writing forms a big part of your life, whether for your job or for sheer entertainment, typos can be a tiresome subject matter that can get you down when they’re pointed out to you. Repeatedly.


People always notice typos. Some people take great pleasure in noticing them and mentioning them to the culprit. At the time this can be very annoying and you just wish they’d go about their business without bothering you. But actually typos always matter, and those who inform the authors and editors of this world they’ve made mistakes that need rectifying are undertaking a great service.

The Importance Of Language

typos are bad

Humanity’s ability to communicate may just be the one thing that separates us from other animals. Sure, many species communicate, but none have developed languages that can be learned and taught to enable the free exchange of ideas and stories.

Languages keep evolving, with new words constantly being added, and old words being adapted in both spelling and usage. This has been the case for generations and will continue to be the case for many more generations to come.

However, language is now being somewhat corrupted by new technologies, with the emergence of the computer, the Internet, email, and text messaging having a profound effect on how we as a species communicate using the written word. Which is a worrying trend.


Technology Corrupts

avoid typos

I suspect that we’re communicating with each other using the written word more now than we ever have before. A couple of centuries ago the art of communication meant speaking directly to each other face-to-face, and a couple of decades ago speaking on the phone was king. Now, through a combination of emailing, Twittering, Facebooking, and texting 10 Fun Texting Games to Play With Friends Over the Phone Here are the best texting games to play over the phone with friends without downloading or installing anything. Read More , the written word has come to the fore.

Unfortunately while the quantity of written communiques has seen an upswing, the quality has taken a major downward turn. People generally don’t care whether they’re spelling words correctly or whether their grammar is up to scratch. I believe this is a mistake, with typos especially being mistreated and disregarded.

Does It Matter?

avoid typos


One recent event prompted this line of thinking: an invitation by Technophilia Podcast (a must-listen for all geeks 5 Essential Technology Podcasts That Geeks Should Listen To If you're reading this, I'm betting there's a good chance you quite like computers, the Internet, or technology in general. A few weeks ago, Dave showed you 10 websites that all geeks should bookmark. This... Read More ) to opine on Google’s belief in self-driving cars. Unfortunately this comment on Facebook was written as “self-driving cards.” That’s one misplaced letter that changes the context of the sentence completely. Has Google invented some kind of playing card able to drive itself? Of course not, but taken literally that is what the phrase suggests.

Most people knew exactly what had occurred and exactly what the sentence actually meant, as our brains have the ability to filter out nonsense, at least for the most part. But that isn’t the point. A few people mentioned the typo in the thread, starting with the Managing Director of MakeUseOf, Mark O’Neill. After a little pushing, Justin Pot, the member of the Technophilia crew who had messed up, stated, “I’d edit it if it mattered. It doesn’t.”

I disagree with this sentiment. I believe it does matter and always matters, even if these typos are being made online or in text messages.


avoid typos


The first reason typos always matter is the scope they have for creating misunderstandings. One or two letters out of place can make all the difference, turning “kiss” into “kill,” and “jump” into “dump.” These are the first two examples given in That Auto-Correct Song by Ben Champion, embedded below.


Auto-correct and automatic spell-checkers are the source of many typos, some of which can have truly dire consequences. Damn You Auto Correct has thousands of other examples of these misunderstandings borne out of typos, and while most are amusing, some are also disconcerting.

Dumbing Down

typos are bad


The second reason typos always matter is that by allowing them to remain festering away on websites or social networks, and in emails or text messages, we as a species are dumbing down. We’re letting mistakes stand, refusing to fix them even when we’re told they exist. This fosters the idea in the collective minds of the mainstream that typos are harmless.

Once typos are accepted as an inevitable part of our everyday lives it’s a slippery slope down the dumb scale until we’re gutturally grunting at each other in the same way our evolutionary forebears once did. Which is a dystopian future I’d rather avoid if I can help it, and I’m hoping you feel the same way too. In which case we all need to guard against typos seeping into conversations, no matter how petty and unimportant we think they may be at the time.


Do you agree with me that typos should be treated more seriously than they currently seem to be? Or do you think I’m on my own on this one? Either way I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Just be sure to use a spell-checker before you click on the big blue Submit button. It should also go without saying that if you spot any typos in this article you should let me know immediately. We’re all human, but we needn’t all be dumb.

Image Credits: Lauren Finkel, Jhaymesisviphotography, Raffi Asdourian, Quinn Dombrowski

Related topics: Online Etiquette, Web Trends, Writing Tips.

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  1. J. Bessette
    October 30, 2017 at 4:03 am

    I couldn't agree more. A friend once sent me a text that began with I Penjabi..... I wish more people would just check a little before sending..!

  2. ella seneres
    December 8, 2016 at 3:08 am

    I had a lovely carpenter but I ruined the relationship. He sent a bill with two typos and grammar mistakes. Being that my dad was a salesperson who served whole countries in Africa; I felt I wanted to help him, because even the other day I was looking for a handyman and it was all well and good until I arrived at his closing statement and grammar issues and no caps, and I just bypassed him because of that. If you do not give a damn about your only ad looking that bad, one has to question their skills, too sloppy. Well the short end of it, my carpenter fired me. I really was only trying to help him. Because he was so good, but to hand over a bill with so many grammar mistakes and spelling, just hurts his image. Adios to me. So now looking for a new carpenter after 10 years. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut.

    • PissedOffVeteran
      September 20, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      To me, Typos are very important.
      I'm very leery of a company that want's to look professional but has what are obvious errors,
      especially spell check errors. It appears that proof reading is not used by many people anymore.
      Spell checks that you just accept without checking can make a document near unreadable. When
      the grammars is atrocious it ruins the whole document and down grades the opinion or at least my
      opinion of the person doing the writing.
      The one I've seen most lately creeping in is, "take over verses over take." Most often it is using overtake in place of take over. They even will argue with you in some cases if you point it out.

  3. Mel Fly
    April 13, 2016 at 7:25 am

    I feel that it is more about how the errors are 'exposed'. The manner in which they are corrected goes a long way to creating a positive change in the writer/authors texting/writing habits. Being a language-Nazi is not pretty and does little to help the person who is being shamed publicly or on a personal level. I am not a copywriter and without spellcheck have a hard time when writing out what I am thinking ... therein lies the issue for me. Check before you sms, message, post etc.

    Try to be more conscious and what you are saying. Talk (write) with purpose. Some of the best ideas come from humble places. Don't miss the message. I agree that misspelled words can give the wrong message entirely. That is why you need to check. I have learned and continue to learn each time I put my thoughts into a written format.

    Thanks for this perspective. I appreciate your views.

    Disclaimer: All grammar, spelling and sentence structure errors are not intentional. Design is my craft. I talk better in pictures. :-)

  4. Stephen
    March 14, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I spotted something in the third paragraph, under the header "The Importance of Language":

    "However, language is now being somewhat corrupted by new technologies, with the emergence of the computer, the Internet, email, and text messaging having a profound effect on how we as a species communicate using the written word. Which is a worrying trend."

    The problem here is that you are ending a paragraph criticizing how we corrupt language with an independent clause which you treat not only as an independent clause, but as a sentence. I am going to continue reading because your topic and the way your articulate your point resonate with me, but this really jumped out as ironic to me. "Which is a worrying trend" is absolutely a dependent clause, and therefore is incomplete as a sentence.

    • Stephen
      March 14, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Look at me making mistakes while pointing out those of another! I mean to say: "...with a dependent clause which you treat..." I do not presume to be blameless!

  5. Sarah Thompson
    January 5, 2016 at 12:24 am

    I agree with you. Typos do matter! And I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who cares about this problem. I don't expect this disappointing situation will change, however.

    The more educated one is, the more likely one is to notice and be bothered by the numerous online language errors. The number of people well-educated enough to recognize the mistakes seems to be quickly diminishing.

    So, more and more people will not know enough to avoid the errors or to notice them. And if few people know and care enough to complain, even the supposedly professional publishers will be willing to devote resources to producing error-free text.

    It's almost a curse now to know enough to recognize language errors. The ubiquitous mistakes are distracting in the moment and depressing upon reflection.

    • PissedOffVeteran
      September 20, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      I beg to differ with you about the more educated part. I know people who never finished high school who
      are better writers than a PHd.
      It is very disappointing to see the crap the local news papers are writing in some places.
      I unfortunately have to spend a couple of days each week in Onalaska, TX and where I am the Livingston, tx local paper is always lying around. Excuse my sorry grammar. I'm not trying very hard right now.
      The writing in the paper is so bad I finally logged onto their web site and asked them if they had anyone who finished the sixth grade writing for them and do they ever proof read.
      Surprisingly I have noticed the writing has improved quite a bit.

  6. XP
    May 13, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I get so annoyed when I see others correcting others on the Internet, like who cares how they spell, type. It's not like it's for a work or a essay it's the Internet
    There is people of all ages on here and different personalaitys and lots who just don't care

    • Eugene
      February 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

      You done misspelled "personalities."

    • Andy
      October 9, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Internet shouldn't be capitalised in that part of the sentence. Should be 'spell or type'. There should be a comma after 'essay'. There 'are' people of all ages. I'm not sure what a personalataiy is. Oh, and no full stop at the end.
      I try not to be a nazi, but that was an awful lot to get wrong in two sentences.

  7. Jo Marsh
    March 19, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I feel incredibly sad when I note that spelling and grammatical errors in emails have become the norm, rather than the exception. And I blame plummeting standards on those who insist on "making life easier" for, say, those (in school) who are less able than those at the top. "So long as he UNDERSTANDS, then spelling and grammar are not important" ... and this was in an English class! Rather than aiming high, trying to improve how we do, mediocrity seems to be acceptable in every way of life. A lack of pride in how we see and present ourselves and a distinct "who cares?" or "can't be bothered" lethargy has taken over, certainly in the UK.

    I used to get annoyed with the misuse of the apostrophe.... nowadays that is the least of my issues.

  8. Dennis Teel
    September 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    i agree with you.but i don't believe most young people today will/I believe the problem is that it's young people who control so much of what's going on today,be it regarding music,movies and even most of the online forums online are aimed at young people if not also created by young people(in this case,young people being 18- 20 something years old).Most young people seem to believe anything is acceptable(except for being a 'hater' which they seem to regard religion and some personal preferences as being in that catagory).This belief that most anything is acceptable,leaves few standards that they feel are necesarry and very few an abosolute requirement.this ranges from such things as 'nanny laws' like curfews in any form, to catagories regarding education,such as proper (or improper)'s surprising ,the number of people that i've spoken to in the past about slang and improper spelling,that feel like it's not important under any circumstances that words be spelled correctly, and that it's less important to be made an issue of.if you think about it , many radio stations don't require anymore , the deep voice and perfect articulation of the disc jockey. More especially if the DJ is African American.

  9. Tomasz
    August 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Dave, I'm right there with you! Typos are downright irritating and show lack of respect towards the reader. Period!

    • Mustafa
      October 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Absolutely agree with this sentiment. Typos are an irritating distraction that slows down understanding (i.e. degrades communication), especially for people who have a sharp eye (those who read "diagonally" without attention to detail already typically understand less than more thorough readers do -- trained "speed readers" being an exception).

      Refusing to improve writing skills and pig-headedly refusing to acknowledge that typos should be looked out for and corrected is indeed demonstrating a lack of respect for readers -- especially for sharp, literate and/or well-educated reader (by the way, why should they shut up when they can help improve things and/or help avoid the quasi-systematic degradation of communication skills?).

      I'm never impressed by company websites that are full of typos, poor grammar and spelling mistakes. I typically won't order from them. Such sites show the company can't be bothered to do things properly/carefully, even where the whole world can see some of their work. If they don't have in-house people who can write properly and spot errors, I'd expect them to have the professionalism to hire someone who can.

  10. Ghame Playerprofile
    August 17, 2012 at 6:56 am

    My wife is terrible at using proper punctuation or capitalizing, example: I just helped my uncle jack off his horse versus I just helped my Uncle Jack off his horse. I find it insulting when she doesn't capitalize proper names as well. Laziness or carelessness to proofread what she has written.

    • Jon
      November 20, 2015 at 1:11 am

      For new readers who might see this comment, I thought pointing out a small grammatical that Ghame made might be interesting.
      "I just helped my Uncle Jack off his horse." should properly be "I just helped my uncle Jack off his horse." The word "Uncle" should only be capitalized if it is being used as proper noun. (The word "uncle" could be capitalized if you referred to someone as "uncle": for example, you could say "Hello, Uncle.")
      Here's a reference:
      It's a common mistake. I hope that someone may find this useful!

  11. George Steinbach
    August 16, 2012 at 6:17 am

    This is so true. I think technology has made our brains to be lazy. We do not want to read and write properly anymore. We should at least maintain proper language usage!!!

  12. Jay Aarh
    August 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    This reminds me of the way they taught reading and writing for a while, tolerating any mistakes, in favor of "freeing up the act of self-expression." The theory was that forcing kids to focus on spelling and grammar would distract them from, or even stifle, their creativity. Others said creativity is built upon well-learned rules or on the defiance of well-learned rules, with the constant being "well-learned rules." I guess if one has learned the rules well and then chooses to disregard them, that's an individual's prerogative. The risk of damage comes from disseminating the products of that disregard to those who haven't learned the rules. If you couple a "descent into Idiocracy" argument with the "risk of misunderstanding" argument, you get a pretty good case for both learning and enforcing the rules of spelling and grammar wherever possible.

  13. Vipul Jain
    August 15, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Dave pls! XD

    I enjoy errors as i am a Grammar Nazi & love correcting others. :D
    Even if i am texting friends or commenting on any random pages on facebook, i make sure that i'm using proper punctuation & grammar.
    The more you get comfortable with typos, the more it starts showing in real life. My friend recently wrote a test,when i saw his answer sheet it read somewhat like this,

    "da BCG grid states dat companies started as stars n move to cash cows"
    No wonder he scored low. :p

    • Jay Cee
      October 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

      The use of a lower-case "I" to refer to oneself is sloppy as hell!

  14. Aaron Hill
    August 15, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I always get annoyed at myself when I catch I typo I have made. None of my friends care about typos, which really drives me crazy!

  15. Stephanie Guertin
    August 15, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I'm sending this article to my boss.

  16. David
    August 14, 2012 at 4:27 am

    If Their Is Won More Annoying Thing That People Who Do'nt No We're Too Put Apostrophies When They Want Two Shorten a Word Or Losen There Style, Its When There Not Two Sure How Too Use Proper Nouns.
    So, Sometimes They Just Right Like This, And Sometimes They SHOUT!

    So, is it:
    The Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration Of Independence

    Damn it's difficult to write like that, and yet some people have no knowledge or qualms about it. Should we feel shamed to be called spelling and grammar Nazis? I say no. Should I feel indignant to be corrected by Americans who don't know of non-US spelling? I say yes.

    I'll understand those who don't appreciate the subtleties of pair, pare and pear or, better still, the less common yaw and yore who don't get as much exposure as their cousins your and you're. But really, can it be so hard as to learn to, too and two?

    And finally, while I have this forum, slightly off-topic, is there anything that can be done about the new American trend to say "I could care less"? Is it because it was misheard and slavishly repeated, or is it to save three keystrokes: n't.

    Phew, That Feels Better!!!

    • Anonymous
      August 15, 2012 at 1:58 am

      The common "could care less" mistake is because people are stupid; they really don't understand / think about the meaning of what they're repeating. The same kind of thing happens with people writing "could of" instead of "could've", for example.

      I've also noticed all too often online, people write something that (sometimes obviously, sometimes not) was intended to be negated, but they leave out the "not"/"n't", or vice-versa.

    • L. D. Atkinson
      August 15, 2012 at 2:22 am

      I believe Jane Austen was from the UK. [Broken URL Removed]

  17. Corina Carrasco
    August 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I agree with you. I have always felt that if the writer does not care enough to write so that the reader can understand and even enjoy what was written, then why should the reader bother to read it?

  18. Elijah Swartz
    August 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I agree. I am a big fan of correct spelling and grammar. You can't forget the importance of serial commas.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Great image. I will never stop using the Oxford comma, no matter how many editors try and force me to do so.

  19. Deborah Herrick
    August 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Oh man, typos are my pet peeve. I hate them in any form, especially from something that's supposed to be professional, such as a newspaper or novel. I, of course, have made my share, but as a perfectionist I try my best to make sure my writing is typo-proof. Thanks for this article.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, and hopefully it will make people consider their own writing a little more.

  20. Dee Wheat
    August 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    The real problem is not the occasional typo. The true issue is that we are rapidly losing all language skills in this country. It's not just a finger stutter, but rather that people do not use the correct word, or consistently misspell words.....definately, for instance, rather than definitely, and we won't even touch on they're/their/there....among others.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      I used typo as a catch-all for spelling and grammar mistakes. It made for a more concise title and nothing more. I do agree with you.

  21. datel datel
    August 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Dave, what recommend that those who don't speak English (a foreigner). How to write (with an automatic translator), how to write can't?

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      I feel for those who don't naturally speak English when they head online. There is very little you can do apart from use the translators such as Google Translate, and unfortunately the error rate is pretty high.

      • datel datel
        August 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm

        Thank you.

  22. Peter Stewart
    August 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    This is a great article as I also agree that typos are not acceptable. I am often called pedantic when pointing out errors. To me they represent lack of attention to detail and a slapdash attitude. I am immediately discouraged from reading or continuing to read any text presented with typos. I am a self-appointed defender of the Queen's English because, of all languages, it is the language of the Internet and global business and it's integrity should be maintained at all costs.

    • Walrus
      August 11, 2012 at 2:05 am

      Another woeful and increasingly common error is the pluralization of a noun by making it possessive, IE the plural of "duck" is written as "duck's". The Queen's English has also undergone deformation lately with a growing British media tendency to associate corporate names as plural, such as "IBM are...". "Ford are..." Check any number of Brit periodicals. How the heck did that happen? Does it even make sense?

      • Dave Parrack
        August 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

        I hate the first example but I myself have fallen for the second. I used to write a British music blog for an American company, and while I would write Muse are or The Beatles are, editors would change it to Muse is and The Beatles is. I'm still not convinced the American way is the correct way on that score.

  23. Lori
    August 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    What tightens my knot is the ever-increasing practice of spelling the word "looser" when you want to say "loser". Maybe we should all switch today and adopt "la-hoo-za-her" like Jim Carrey's Ace Ventura.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      I'm very surprised I haven't been called a looser for this article, but the vast majority of people seem to agree with me :)

  24. Saikat Basu
    August 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Typos can be very costly too. I read this piece once -

    The Comma That Costs 1 Million Dollars

    A typo in a legal document can be harakiri.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Wow, that is one costly comma. The regulator was spot-on though.

  25. Chris
    August 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I started noticing this when I was younger and used a lot of chat applications. My friends all used the dreadful "u" and "r" instead of typing it out. It started to drive me crazy, so I began to use punctuation on every response and capitalization when necessary. It became habit to use periods at the end of a sentence and proof reading everything I typed before I sent it. I think this practice helped me in my professional life more than anything (back then it was school, now it is an actual job). I still make mistakes here and there, but I use Google most of the time if I forget how to spell "necessary" like I did in this post.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Firefox and its built-in spell-checker help me with necessary ;)

  26. David Blight
    August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I am dyslexic to a degree and find that I have trouble with my typos. I have adapted to the problem with spell checker and a detail review of what I type. This has been driven by my employment in the medical device design process documentation that goes through extensive reviews. We all make them but we can improve.

  27. Alae
    August 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I agree about typos , they shouldn't happen but grammar on the other hand should evolve and as long as the message is relayed correctly between the creator and recipient then its fine , clarity is what I"m looking for when I write my words

  28. susendeep dutta
    August 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Earlier,I used to comment on typo mistake made by writers which some of them didn't like to bother about it and some did acknowledged it and also told me to appreciate the work done to bring up the article which I sometimes forgot to mention.So,besides reporting typo mistakes,one must also appreciate the writer about his article and the writer must pay serious attention to his typo mistake and correct it in the article by any means.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      The reader/writer relationship (with an editor as go-between) has to be one with respect on both sides. As a writer I always try to make my copy easily readable and error-free, but there is a right and a wrong way for a reader to point out a typo.

  29. James Bruce
    August 10, 2012 at 7:54 am

    All publicity is good publicity! Thanks Dave~!

    • Dave Parrack
      August 10, 2012 at 11:11 am

      I was hoping you'd feel that way. Pointing out an error countered by a nice promo for Technophilia... it's a fair deal ;)

  30. General Melchett
    August 10, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Juan appears to be a non-native English speaker, so his your/you're transgression is entirely forgivable in my book - especially as he's clearly making far more of an effort in his writing than many people of our own tongue usually do.

    However, I will take issue with the use of "typo" to describe a spelling/grammatical error, or a deliberate contraction or abbreviation.
    These are not "typos". A typo is itself a shortening of "typographical error". i.e. the typist pressing the wrong key.

    A spelling mistake is a spelling mistake. An abbreviation is an abbreviation. Only a typographical error (pressing the wrong key and not noticing) is a typo.

    If the typist notices and doesn't correct it, then it becomes evidence of ignorance and stupidity, even if it still looks like a typo.

    • James Bruce
      August 10, 2012 at 7:54 am

      Did you just presume he was a non-native speaker because of the name?

      • General Melchett
        August 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

        As a former ESL teacher, I based my assumption on a few errors in his text (such as "and I know it’ll take long if I’d type in the entire message") which is the sort of thing my students might have written.
        Then he talked of an "English" girl, and yes his name added further to my assumption - which I suppose is very un-PC of me!
        There are of course lots of people with Spanish names in the USA - which there aren't here in the UK.
        So, my apologies to Juan if you are a native speaker - certainly no offence intended.

  31. tarzan2001
    August 10, 2012 at 5:13 am

    I think typos during text messages are forgivable as the point of texting is to quickly send info from one person to another. Another form of a typo is the use of "shorthand" notation during texting, e.g using "4" instead of "for" or "ur" instead of "your/you're", etc. Although unlimited texting plans are becoming more common, many people still pay per text message, thus the use of "shorthand" to cram the most info into each text is justified, in my opinion. It's become a habit for me, even with unlimited texting available, since I've been texting for many years now. My friends that also have been texting for a long time in similar circumstances understand my shorthand messages very easily. However, if I send one to my brother, he gets quite peeved at my lack of "proper English" usage! :P

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      I think we've all shortened words in texts at some point but where possible I spell out the full words. That's just me!

  32. kevin gnanaraj
    August 10, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Some of the people I correct tell me something along the lines "Give me a break, I'm dyslexic!", and this is over the internet, where they have access to spell checkers with the click of a button. It frustrates me, I feel disheartened in a way, but I've only ever once been called a grammar nazi, and that was in a friendly tone so I didn't mind. They don't tell me to use short forms for words such as facebook though, so that's a relief. Another thing that annoys me a lot in south India is the way they teach english-they teach grammatically incorrect english, and if you try to correct them, they give you some sort of punishment because they don't like to be wrong and they think everyone else is wrong. On top of that, they teach them big words early that have no idea how to use themselves, and this adds to the confusion. I find all this extremely frustrating.
    I do think grammar and typos matter everywhere, because it might just spill over into other important writing. They also tell something about the person's personality that could be negative.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      "grammar and typos matter everywhere, because it might just spill over into other important writing." Exactly.

      Obviously it must be hard for dyslexic people or people for which English isn't their first language.

      • kevin gnanaraj
        August 14, 2012 at 8:30 am

        For me, dyslexic people to do sloppy work, get bad grades and complain is not just lazy, and bad maths skills are definitely not a result of dyslexia. It reflects badly on them. As well as that, they it use as an excuse not to do subjects they don't like properly.

        • Dave
          August 15, 2012 at 3:38 am

          Heh, was the "it use" intentional and meant to be ironic, or are you really dyslexic?

  33. Denis Paley
    August 10, 2012 at 1:15 am

    When people refuse to correct their typos or simply don't take time to edit their articles or comments I find myself avoiding these sites. I find I cannot trust articles or comments from these people as they cannot even take the time to write properly.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

      I'm the same. It suggests a lack of professionalism. The emergence of amateur bloggers has, I believe, been a boon to the Web, but if they can't spell correctly then I tend not to take notice.

  34. Dave Warfield
    August 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    One thing that drives me absolutely batty is the improper use of "your". I shouldn't have to say it, but "your" is a possessive and if you want to contract "you are", you write "you're". Sometimes I think that teachers stopped teaching contractions around 1990. Of course there's also it's and its. Those two grammar errors bother me because we learned that in the first or second grade! And that was 40 years ago. If teachers say that there's not enough time because of technology training, then they should put off the technology training--or lengthen the school day!

  35. FluteChick
    August 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Typos happen. For me, they're easier to accept than just plain incorrect grammar, like they're/their/there and you're/your. I could go on and on ...

  36. Hoku Sarroca
    August 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    everyone that knows me knows I'm the Queen of typos.... so they have accepted that. Plus because I'm on meds daily it does hinder my typing and spelling. I did have a cousin that constantly picked on my errors... even when she realizes that it is done not to annoy her... it's just some of us end up doing

    • Jay Cee
      October 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

      "Committing" the typos is one thing. That surely happens to absolutely everyone. Not bothering to re-read what you've written to reduce the number of typos your readers will have to put up with is another. That' not respectful. It's also sloppy. In addition, there are tools (e.g. spellcheckers) designed to help avoid that. I can for example accept dyslexia as a reason for not being able to see/correct typos. Being on meds doesn't sound like a great excuse, unless you do actually make an effort to re-read what you write and simply can't see the errors because of the "fog" caused by the meds. Good luck with your condition btw, hope it's temporary.

    • Jay Cee
      October 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Did anyone react to reading "That' not respectful" when it should read "That's not respectful"?! I could suggest it was intentional and plenty of people wouldn't believe that.

      It usually amuses me how those who make far fewer errors are held to a much higher standard than the sloppy ones who don't care, by those very people who are the ones who don't care. Always a pleasure to see a speck of dust in the other's eye when there's a tree in yours eh?! Lol.

  37. Tony Parrack
    August 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Spelling well is important. We're all human and mistakes sometimes occur, but I can't help but think that not checking for typos equals laziness?

  38. Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo
    August 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I both agree and disagree. I personally use typos when I have to send a long message by phone and I know it'll take long if I'd type in the entire message.

    But on a keyboard, to me it's either trolling or not.

    I once met a teen girl on a chat who was typing with horrible typos, butchering all of her sentences. I asked her to use better English and she replied with something like 'It doesn't matter and you shouldn't even tell me because I'm English so I know it better than you'. Of course, it was written in horrible English as well and I left the conversation there. Bad typing is one thing, thinking your superior is another. It did make me wonder if she actually knew better English or not(who knows, maybe she's an high class student with amazing grades that considers online language useless)

    • The 24
      August 10, 2012 at 2:13 am

      I hate to be "that guy" but you used *your* when you should have used *you're*. Sorry, but given the premise of this article I felt I had a point to make.

      • Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo
        August 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm

        Thank you for pointing that out.

  39. General Melchett
    August 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Typos don't normally bother me (unless it's in something that's been committed to print - which should have been proof-read), but ignorant bad spelling irritates the hell out of me.

    The differences between 'their', 'there' and 'they're' - or 'to' and 'too' - are simple. I got the hang of them when I was about 6 or 7.
    Yet it seems the majority of people these days haven't, or just can't be bothered because it involves using their brain for a moment.
    Are all these people really so thick or un-educated that they can't grasp such basic concepts?

    I suspect this is just part of modern society's falling personal and social standards - especially in schools. The fact that it's inconsiderate and disrespectful to expect others to read their mis-spelt incoherent lexical drivel doesn't even occur to these people.

    Ahhhh... I feel better for that rant. Back to work!

  40. Claire Curtis
    August 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I feel that typos are social embarrassments, rather like a lipstick smudge or an open fly. You assume it is an oversight and make mention of the problem, and it is then incumbent on the transgressor to quietly make a correction, with perhaps a whispered "thanks".
    It's gauche to delight in pointing out transgressions, or to do so loudly or insistently. It is also uncouth to insist that there is no problem, that an open fly is perfectly fine and it's only your hangups that make it a problem.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Spot-on. I'm no fan of those that take pleasure in pointing typos out, but a quiet nudge is appreciated.

  41. betazed
    August 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I tend not to notice typos or grammatical errors as my brain has a very strong "auto-correct" feature of its own. I can read very corrupted text and from context clues I have a very good idea of the intended meaning. I didn't even notice the typo in the Facebook post reproduced above until I read the comments below it. I just assumed they meant "cars" since Google has been working on it (for one) and for two, cards don't drive. The other side of my brain's nifty correcting of text is that it makes me terrible at proofreading either my own work or the work of others.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 10, 2012 at 11:06 am

      That's an interesting point, actually. Our brains are wired to look past mistakes, but since writing for the Web I've trained myself to spot typos. Even so, despite several read-throughs some still make it to the editor stage.

      • Bumpknuckle
        August 11, 2012 at 1:39 am

        One problem with letting our brains "auto correct" typos is if we go long enough using incorrect grammar and spelling, we won't know what to correct to.

  42. Joel Lee
    August 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    If you've ever visited Reddit, you know that typos are #1 serious business over there. Personally, I think typos are perfectly fine. It's the bastardization of language that really gets me. Acronyms are okay (LOL, ROFL, WTF, etc.) because acronyms are acronyms. But stuff like 'u' and 'lyk dis if ur goin 2 vote 4 obama!!!!"... disgraceful.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Ugh, proper txt spk is horrific. As are words reordered for no reason, such as aks instead of ask.

      • Daniel Voyles
        August 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

        I agree with you both. Errors in spelling and typos are one thing, but the way those who text have dumbed down the English language has got to stop at texting. Short had is one thing, but text talk is what will have the most extreme impact on the written word.

        • Tonja
          October 19, 2012 at 4:04 am

          Short HAD? Lol

        • Daniel Voyles
          October 19, 2012 at 5:35 am

          Oops, forgot a letter, didn't I?

  43. Richard Borkovec
    August 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I have to agree; typos always matter. It annoys the crap out of me when someone's typos get pointed out and they don't fix it, or refuse to. It almost always makes the person seem less educated than they are. I can understand using short hand where it counts (text messges), but to me it's almost the same as a typo: completely unneeded.

  44. Arron Walker
    August 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I for the most part agree - I used to have awful typing, and typos are still prevalent throughout much of my communication. Looking at my conversations, I notice I tend to take greater care in an "official" or "professional" setting. Conversations with friends, particularly on phones are riddled with errors. Oftentimes though, I proof read and then keep the mistakes - they are oft a source of humour between us.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 10, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Of course, more care should be taken in some situations than in others, but by practicing error-free writing at all times it's much easier to spot typos when it's absolutely imperative you do so.

      • Simon Harris
        August 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

        I'm sure you meant to write "practising" ...... sorry, Dave.

        • Dave Parrack
          August 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

          Ha, I knew I'd trip up somewhere in this thread. Don't apologize, I need to practice what I preach, after all. :)

        • Simon Harris
          August 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm

          I try to practise what I preach as well!
          (Think advise and advice - then it all becomes clear with "practice")
          Interesting to note that my spellchecker scores "practise" as an error!
          Not sure if I am on a US site here?
          As someone said "Two nations separated by a common tongue"