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Last year I took a J-Term course called “Ethnographic Writing.”  While we did quite a bit of in class writing, our instructor asked us not to bring computers, and instead to write in a notebook.  She felt that students produced more thoughtful work that way, and were more in tuned with the writing process and less distracted.

The other day, I sent out a few thank you emails to people who had interviewed me for jobs last week.  I edited them carefully, even sent a couple to my dad to look over, and he sent them back to me with revisions and feedback.  I typed them on the train, on my iPhone, sent them to my dad, who looked at them on his laptop, and sent the final copies out on my own laptop.  I found myself highlighting parts of sentences to delete them, copying and pasting text–all of the normal things we now do in order to edit our typed text.  I sorted through my “sent mail” folder after sending them out, only to find TYPO’S!!!  What better way to come off as an idiotic ditz??!  I wrote to an HR guy:  “The visit confirmed that [company name] peopleare really bright and work hard  in a fast-paced, creative, and dynamic setting.”  Yikes.  Second, “I really appreciate your support, and am will continue hoping for the best in the upcoming weeks.”  Come ON.

These errors lead me to believe that my J-Term teacher from last year was right.  The ways we (or maybe I should just say “I”) edit and write text on screens allows for these kinds of mistakes.  Moving around text, deleting clauses, etc–all leaves oportunities to forget to “cut” the now unnecessary pronoun with the rest of the text, or to paste a clause into the wrong part of a sentence.  Not to mention, I type much faster than I write, so my brain is often a word or two ahead of my fingers, and that word or two never makes it into the email.

Maybe I’m just making excuses, but I do believe that my most thoughtful writing is often done hand.  I mean…BY hadn…oops…by HAND.

One Response to “TYPO’S!”

  1. Toren Hardee says:

    I was a dyed-in-the-wool handwriter for a long time, especially when it came to creative writing or essays…….I suppose I continued this habit all the way through the end of high school, and then it more or less dissipated when I got to college and suddenly had this magical thing called a laptop that was mine all mine. I might’ve tried to keep hand-writing in the first few weeks of college, but gradually I realized that the pros of typing far outweigh the cons (which are….well, being 1 click away from the internet, I suppose). I’ve never had the problem of finding my digital documents fraught with typos (maybe I just don’t have the skills to type as fast as you), so to me, your teacher forcing you to hand-write things seems like the typical closeminded, reactionary approach to technology that is seemingly hardwired into many institutions. For me, the mere fact that I can probably write twice as much–of equal quality–when I’m typing seems enough to dwarf any other concerns.

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