A Tolerance for Typos

Typos. They’re everywhere, even with so many automated features built in to make our writing better, more grammatically correct, and spelled properly. Sometimes when I’m typing the typos correct themselves. Usually this happens if it’s a small error. Other times, the improperly spelled word appears underlined, or highlighted in some way, to catch my attention.

If the typo isn’t fixed automatically, the spell check is available. This feature also checks grammar. I use a plug-in for my blog that tracks things like:

  • passive voice
  • sentence length
  • variety in my sentences

We all have plenty of options, automated or manual, to improve our writing. So why then, do I still see so many errors? More importantly, I see so many avoidable errors. Also, in situations where maybe these features are not so available, I see lots of typos. To be fair, I also have the occasional typo, or incorrect word, with some messaging apps. However, I’m one of those people that still takes a few extra seconds to put punctuation and capital letters in the majority of my text messages. It took me years to feel comfortable using internet slang. I still need to look up slang on a semi-regular basis.

In a recent round of hiring, I overlooked resume typos from two candidates. One was a spelling mistake that any checker would have caught. Not that long ago, these resumes wouldn’t have even made it to a phone screening. Fortunately for these candidates, my tolerance for typos has relaxed in recent years. I suppose this is a combination of making my own typos and learning to ignore them because they’re so ubiquitous.

With so many options to use AI for generating content, I can’t help but wonder if these new tools will also learn to mimic and recreate our typos. It would certainly add an element of authenticity, as though a real human created the content. However, it does perpetuate an ongoing decline in our written language. While some might argue language is meant to evolve, I would be hesitant to use that as an excuse for poor spelling, abundant usage of internet slang, and easy grammar mistakes.

While we do have tools and features to make it easy for us to write and spell perfectly, we have not perfected the use of them.

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