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Old 05-14-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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I wonder if the rise of typing made it easier to slip in spelling and punctuation mishaps and grammatical mistakes.

I can't remember as easily how often I made mistakes when I wrote (as it's been a while since I wrote long pieces of text by pen and paper) but it seems that when writing, mistakes are detected and fixed more obviously (rubbed out if pencil, or crossed/whited out for pen), while for typing it's really easy to let something slip and overlook it.

The nature of the word "typo" itself is quite telling.

Also, in typing it's easier to go back and edit out things, copying and pasting to change them (so often grammatical mistakes creep in as byproducts of hastily inserted and removed sentences, phrases and words) -- it's harder to do that in writing on paper, without writing on the margin, and drawing a little arrow showing that you mean to insert, and in that case, you'd see what you meant to insert much more obviously.

Thinking back, it's almost taken for granted how easily you can edit a typed text that it feels strange to consider that if you'd do the same in handwriting, you'd get lots of messy cross-outs and additions (perhaps we thought a lot more before putting the pen to paper then?).
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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I use a fountain pen and write longhand just as much as I type. I find longhand is just enough slower that I make fewer spelling mistakes- sometimes I'll question myself as to how a word is spelled, and lift the pen off the paper for a second. I tend to plow through a mis-spelling while using a keyboard.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:18 PM
 
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I personally hate autocorrect. My new mac came with it and I get pretty frustrated as it will change words on me. I see a lot of embarrassing mistakes by people on Facebook because almost every smart phone now has auto correct.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Fiorina "Fury" 161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
Also, in typing it's easier to go back and edit out things, copying and pasting to change them (so often grammatical mistakes creep in as byproducts of hastily inserted and removed sentences, phrases and words) -- it's harder to do that in writing on paper, without writing on the margin, and drawing a little arrow showing that you mean to insert, and in that case, you'd see what you meant to insert much more obviously.
I think it's definitely easier to miss simple punctuation errors. With word programs, you can almost type as fast as you think, instead of taking time to think it out before writing with your hand. With typing, you can use all ten fingers simultaneously on an editable canvas. You can take liberties and get a little sloppy because you know you can go back and fix errors.

In writing a response to this thread, my first sentence reads: "I think it's definitely easier to miss simple punctuation errors." In reading it again, I noticed the spell check did not originally highlight that anything was wrong. I had, at first, typed "simply" instead of "simple." It also didn't make the distinction between "its" and "it's."
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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I can see how a person may make more mistakes, or I suppose miss more mistakes typing as opposed to hand-writing. If I've been typing a lot, I gradually get faster and faster, and I notice I begin making a lot of incorrect key strokes and have to correct them as I go or after a final proofread. I make plenty of errors when handwriting, too, but not as many. And with pen and ink correcting errors gets very ugly, so perhaps I'm subconsciously more careful.

One thing I have noticed, though it may not exactly relate to this thread, is that when I read a fairly new book, I'll often come across several typos. But I also read a lot of older editions of books, and in those I practically never see typos. In fact I can't recall ever seeing a typo in any of my old books. I wonder if we've become sloppier at proofreading in modern times.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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When you type or even hand write, you know what you are saying, and because you know what you are saying, your brain auto-fills and auto-corrects for you. Self editing, you miss a lot.

That's why it's so important to have someone else read your work before you send it off -- or, try reading it yourself, out loud. Reading it out loud slows you down, and you end up really reading your work, and you can catch what you miss.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:07 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
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Gosh dern...I maek boobooos all thee time...jest meens I is normal.

In reality my old fingers are just overcome with arthritis and too stiff when typing.

Good thing I take some time (not today of course) to recheck my spelling/grammer.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Fiorina "Fury" 161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
One thing I have noticed, though it may not exactly relate to this thread, is that when I read a fairly new book, I'll often come across several typos. But I also read a lot of older editions of books, and in those I practically never see typos. In fact I can't recall ever seeing a typo in any of my old books. I wonder if we've become sloppier at proofreading in modern times.
I notice this specifically in my local paper (it is the main paper for the surrounding area). I honestly cannot recall seeing so many errors in the past in this award-winning rag. It's slightly amusing as this is an industry/profession that is highly focused on not making such errors. Writing in an electronic format is completely different than doing it by hand. You can also, I suppose, write and submit articles from your cell phone. That would be an easy way to make mistakes. Add in the intense deadlines that newspapers face and it's a double-whammy.

As far as typing as a way of writing is concerned, if you can think back to the typewriter, this issue was kind of the same, except you took more time to physically handle the paper and correct it. I don't have a study to cite but I do think the brain goes through different processes when typing (less focused) versus writing by hand (more focused). I think with writing by hand your brain subconsciously wants to preserve the paper as much as possible, because if you don't, you have a corrective mess or you have to start all over. The "writing environment" today is quicker and it can lead to sloppiness if the writer is relying too much on the program to correct errors or be its own proof-reader.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:50 AM
 
Location: El Dorado Hills, CA
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I make more mistakes when writing by hand. I think my brain is already on the next word while my hand is still writing the last word. So I miss letters and add the wrong ones. I can keep up better on the PC.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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I don't think the tools you use to write has a huge bearing on making spelling mistakes. If you don't know how to spell, then you're much more likely to make mistakes. (The number of people who can't spell appears to be increasing, but that's a completely different issue).
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