Sunday, 28 March 2010
Have you noticed a new breed of typos proliferating on blogs and social media?
Things like fhe and hel/o and n:ce.
These are not the traditional typos of mis-hit strokes on a keyboard... those old familiar friends with transposed letters (teh) or not-quite-releasing-the-Shift-key-in-time (ENgland), on which spellcheckers were trained.
Nor are they the SMS mistakes of predictive text (where Nokia believes that nun is more likely than mum).
No, this new spate of errors has a different character. The culprit? The touch-screen device, with imperfect handwriting recognition (or imperfect handwriting).
I've been guilty of plenty of these errors... though I try to spot them in time to correct myself, I apologise if one or two slip through my fingers when I'm tweeting or commenting on your blog.
I'd barely handwritten anything in the last five years, until I got a touch-screen phone. And while my writing isn't atrocious, it isn't perfectly computer-readable either. My n and u are indistinguishable in handwritten text... who knew?! In context, it's always perfectly clear, but handwriting recognition software has yet to incorporate the lessons of predictive text. I'm having to train myself to write differently, more clearly, for the sake of my phone.
I've been seeing this kind of error more and more lately. Have you noticed it? (I bet you will now!)