I am a terrible typist."
Those that trade IMs with me know this fact.
When I was in high school I had the opportunity to take a typing class. You know, a real typing class on one of those old fashioned typewriters.
For some reason I thought I would end up being a secretary if I learned how to type and I DIDN'T want to be a secretary at any cost.
I could have never foreseen the computer revolution or the fact that I would spend every day of my life typing.
In my second year of college I joined the student newspaper where I taught myself how to type (albeit badly) and to use a computer, design software and even PINE, which was the precursor to texting. I spent the next 10 years of my career carefully editing my own writing and eventually even became the editor of a BtoB magazine and numerous newsletters.
I can't tell you how excited when I started authoring a blog to read that minor typos would not be held against you, that they made you real to your readership, etc.
When a typo really counts
However, today I read an article in the local paper that made me think once again about the importance of carefully reviewing your work to avoid unintended consequences.
In this case, a young man is still in the hospital with a police bullet in his liver because of a typo.
The police officer ran his license plate with ONE number typed incorrectly and the car came back as stolen. A series of events led to the young man being shot by a policeman in his own yard.
I suspect that no one will ever be able to tell this guy that typos don't matter.
And even though they might not always be this life threatening, typos and usage errors can often change the meaning of communication completely.
What do you think? Are you worried about how you come across and what you communicate in social media forums like blogs and Twitter?
Credits: The lovely Typewriter was photographed by César Astudillo