I don’t know why I am so sensitive about spelling mistakes, but I am. In uploading the last post I noticed the word “tomorrow” had been misspelled. It was live and on the web. The curtain had been drawn open and there hung the word, “tomorrorw”. I was horrified. My heart jumped up into my throat. I felt all the capillaries that run under my skin contract. It was brief. I calmed down and proceeded to fix the mistake. But, the whole episode got me to thinking about how I cringe when I see spelling errors my own or anybody else’s. It’s like you’ve got this gnarly piece of spinach stuck to your front tooth. It’s like you’ve got this booger dried up and hanging off the end of your nose. And, it’s like you’ve been out in public for hours and you have no idea how long you’ve been walking around like that.
I learned the hard way to let my emails sit in the outbox for 10 seconds before they go out on their own. I can push them out earlier by hitting the send/receive button a second time, but now I have those few seconds to re-think the matter. How this came about was when I wrote an email to a customer and I apologized for the inconvenience we had caused him due to an order not being processed in a timely fashion. I had trouble spelling inconvenience. I knew it was wrong from the beginning, but I was relying upon my trusty spellchecker to remedy things for me.
So, I’m done with the letter. I hit send knowing the spellchecker was going to engage before the door opened and the letter flew. Ahem. I wasn’t paying attention. The trusty spellchecker offered an alternative to my misspelled word and I accepted it. It was the last word to be checked in the email and the letter was on its way, except, as things turned out I realized too late that the sentence in question now read, “I apologize for your incontinence.” I clung to the idea that the customer I had written to was Italian and hopefully his English was worse than my choice of words.