Blogs and Typos: A big deal?

1123441__erasure_Today’s post is about blogs and typos. We all find them on blogs–I’ll talk about the typos here in a second. First, in general, how bad a thing are typos in your mind? A minor inconvenience? A deal-breaker? (Perhaps, if there are upwards of 6 or 7 in a short post, I’ll call it quits, but typos aren’t usually deal-breakers for me. I don’t freak out about a typo when I’m reading on the web).

How much do typos drive you up the wall?

As I work on organizing, combining, editing, and adding to various posts on my blog to make a writer’s handbook–I hope to title it “Writing for You,” and I just can’t wait to release it!–I’m noticing that some of the posts in my backlog have some typos, and though I’m fixing them as I find them for people in the future who go to explore the catalog of articles I have here, it’s really annoying me.

You see, I definitely edit my posts before I schedule them to go live. And that’s part of the problem, because I’m one of those people who sometimes, unintentionally, edits problems INTO my work. (You know, you change something without realizing that necessitates a change somewhere else in the sentence or paragraph. It’s maddening!.)

So first of all, I’m sorry for what typos you guys have dealt with here. I don’t really mind an occasional typo when I’m reading blogs–I know bloggers are busy people, and blogs are generally informal and short and fun–but I’m a perfectionist, so even though I don’t give typos a second thought when I’m reading and don’t judge other people for them, I hate that I’ve found so many here.

I guess my point in writing this is to ask you to let me know if you ever spot a typo on the blog. Just leave a brief comment, and I’ll be grateful for bringing it to my attention so that I can go back and fix it for future readers who stop by. I won’t feel like you’re being a snob or anything like that, I promise πŸ™‚

Why I Hate Having Typos In My Work

I do think–and I think most people would agree–there’s a difference between a typo or two on a blog and a spattering of print errors in a printed, formal volume. For sure. But wherever they appear in my writing, typos drive me nuts.

I feel like they imply I’m being sloppy. That I don’t really care about what I’m writing, that I don’t take the time to revise my work, and that I’m just rushing to get something–anything–down, regardless of the quality, because I left it until the last minute.

That’s why I hate my typos. I mean, it’s not like you guys can’t figure out what’s supposed to be on the screen or what I’m meaning to get across. But I can’t stand what typos imply about me. I’ll definitely try to be more careful about them in the future.

So: welcome to the new, improved, blog! I couldn’t think of a better time to be revising old posts and concentrating on proofing new ones: I’ve just hit 25,000 total views this morning, as I write this on April 10. That’s two weeks out from my first blog-iversary! And I’m averaging over 200 hits a day this month! The last two days, I’ve had over 3oo each. That has never, ever happened for me before, so I’m kind of excited πŸ™‚


42 responses to “Blogs and Typos: A big deal?

  1. Recently, I read a book excerpt (a really great one, too!) by a traditionally published author that contained an error – a glaring one. I emailed her privately and crossed my fingers she wouldn’t be offended. Guess what? She wasn’t. In fact, she was gracious about it and thanked me profusely, saying that six professional editors hadn’t caught the mistake. I was a little surprised, especially since it immediately stood out to me.

    So does this make her a bad writer? Or them bad editors? Absolutely not! (And it doesn’t make me an editing genius, either!) It only proves that you can never have too many eyes on your work. All of us (writers and yes, editors, too) make mistakes. Typos are just part of writing period, whether it’s a blog, a book, or a email to a friend. But if you happen to notice such a thing and want to let the author know about it, it’s probably best done in a private email or message. The goal is to let the author or blogger know what you found so they can correct it without embarrassing them or drawing even more attention to it.

    As usual, great post, Victoria! And, don’t worry, I haven’t found any typos on your blog! πŸ˜‰

    • wow, Allison, that’s fantastic. There are lots of great points in your comment there! Especially about letting people know privately about their errors. That’s a great suggestion. I’m so glad that author wasn’t offended, because she shouldn’t have been when your tone was respectful and kind!

  2. I”m with you on the typo’s and I hate it just the same when I review my Blog and re-read something and it’s not perfect. If you were sat next to me, you’d actually hear me mutter and something along the lines of “stupid clunky phrasing”, “wrong use of your…”. I feel the pain. I have to give myself some slack though. I work upwards of fifty hours a week and I’m writing my first novel and still trying to Blog at the same time. I hardly ever draft posts first, so what you read really is my first draft. Congrats on the views!

    • I love everything you say here. We all have to cut ourselves some slack. Drafts don’t need to be perfect, for sure, and neither do blog posts. I am super impressed, by the way, that you find any time at all to write and blog after working 50 hours!

      Also, I am known for mumbling to myself as well, especially when I’m writing πŸ™‚

  3. To be honest, typos don’t really bother me all that much unless they show up in the post’s preview; that, more than anything else, indicates a lack of proofreading. I do my best to avoid typos on my own blog – I draft using MS Word, which helps a lot – but I’ve still had a fair number slip through.

    Congrats on the views, by the way πŸ™‚

    • thanks! That’s a great tip, drafting in MS Word. There spell-checker and grammar check can catch many kinds of errors. Not all, of course, but many.

      Typos don’t bug me either in other people’s work. Good to know I’m not alone in that!

  4. Cate Russell-Cole

    It depends on what you mean by typo. I had a commenter pick on me as I had spelled University with a capital letter in the wrong context. Technically it is a typo, however, where do you draw the line between professionalism and exacting perfectionism. We need to accept we are all human and at times, have to go back and fix errors.

    My biggest enemy is fatigue. That creates more mistakes than anything.

    Thank you for yet another excellent post.

    • thanks for your comment, Cate! I think you’re totally right, there’s a line between professionalism and perfectionism. I would never point out something so minor to someone as “U”niversity, unless they had asked me to edit their piece! I would feel really obnoxious doing that. Some things just don’t really matter.

      • Cate Russell-Cole

        The person responsible also edited other comments on the same post. Her point was supposed to be about how obsessed we get with over editing, I think… it was made in a passive aggressive fashion, so it was hard to tell if she was picking on people or making a point. That comment hit my trash can immediately.

  5. I admit that I don’t really edit my blog posts. I scan it for blaring errors, but I try to keep them more informal than my actual writing. I guess I’m fine as long as my point comes across and it isn’t a constant issue. This probably stems from my focus on the topic that I’m writing instead of the spelling/grammar of the post. I get caught up in my own thought process and ignore the mechanics. It’s gotten better since I got a bunch of comma usage down to instinct.
    I do get annoyed at some people that pounce on every typo, especially during on-line chat sessions. People make mistakes and there are some instances where it really isn’t worth bringing up. Maybe the person hit a wrong key or the key didn’t register on the keyboard. It really isn’t worth derailing a conversation to point it out because it’s already been said. Again, this is more for chat and maybe a long trail of comments. For published works, it really is important to fix mistakes.

    • I agree with everything you say here, Charles! Thanks for those distinctions. Blogs are meant to be informal, after all. And as for chats…. oh good grief!!! unless it’s a typo that impedes comprehension of what someone’s trying to say it matters nothing at all. I TOTALLY agree there!

      • I forgot to add this little pet peeve of mine. People that correct their own typos even though their statements are entirely understandable. I have a friend that does this with text messages and I have to keep reminding her that I don’t have unlimited messages. Unless I come back with ‘what?’ or teasing, it’s best to assume I know what you meant.

        It does seem with typos there are levels of writing that determine their importance. Basic chat is acceptable as long as comprehensible, blog posts are okay as long as not over the type, and professional writing is a no-no. Wonder if there’s anything between blog and pro.

  6. In blogs, no, typos don’t bug me. As I make loads of them myself no doubt. But my blog is a personal one. In my writing, whole different ball game. I hire an editor. Yet, sometimes still find the odd mistake… no one is a hundred percent perfect.

    • so true! and the good thing is, none of us has to be, thank goodness!!! i’m glad people like you are saying reading typos in a blog isn’t a huge bother because I know I have them from time to time! πŸ™‚

  7. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. One or two typos never bother me on a blog, but sloppiness does. What really gets me is when errors are brought to the writer’s attention, but are NOT fixed–what’s that all about? I always ask at least one person to read my posts before I publish them, and I appreciate the opportunity to fix my mistakes!

  8. They definitely don’t bother me in a blog. I’ve noticed that a good many national news stories have typos these days. I assume they’re typing directly into an interface, and, with things like the Boston story, they’re writing fast and furious. I hate them in my own work, but they happen anyway. I always, always run spell check and grammar checks, and STILL end up with some typos. At some point, you just have to get over it. Unless you’re like my grammar nazi friend who (until her daughter found out and had a fit) used to edit LIBRARY books (in pencil). haha!

    • hahaha!!! that’s HYSTERICAL!!! πŸ™‚ thanks for making me smile, Jennings! Good to know that there’s a general consensus that typos on a blog are no big deal for people.

  9. Pingback: Editing and mistakes | Words on the Page

  10. I have an editor’s eye, which means it’s soul-crushing when I find a belated typo in my own work and distracting to the point of stopping in someone else’s. I’ve rarely spotted typos on your blog, hence my continued return. Looking forward to that handbook, though. My offline writing is definitely in need of help and your blog has provided a lot of great tips!

  11. I agree with you, but I also know that I have made my share of oopsies on my own blog. I try to catch them, but I also find it difficult to edit my own work. I just can’t seem to see the blasted buggers. Great post!

  12. Everything in your post resonates with me — I think that’s why I only get around to putting up a blog post once a week. I edit and edit and edit everything and sometimes one blog post can take days! Probably not the most efficient way to work…

    • maybe not, but you don’t have to post daily to be an effective blogger. Everything I’ve heard people say the key is posting regularly, not daily. and if you’re posting a really solid, well written, engaging, and well-researched post weekly, then that’s fantastic and will draw people to your site.

  13. To start, you mentioned that you don’t mind people pointing out your blog typos, so at the end of the third paragraph, the phrase “It’s really annoying me” should not be capitalized. 8)
    In general, we “practice how we play,” and if you are an author or editor, your brand is reflected in how you write. Having said that, I believe that texts and blogs are more informal, and a bit of leniency is expressed on the part of the reader.
    Thanks for the blog post! It was revealing and addressed one of the elephants in the room for some of us.

  14. I just started reading your blog, and I’m so glad I found it! Great advice, super helpful…you made into my Feedly!

    As for typos, they drive me up the wall in, say, books or magazines or eBooks. I don’t mind typos in a blog post as much as I mind grammatical mistakes. Typos just mean your brain is firing faster than your fingers…it happens! But mistakes like mixing up it’s/its, your/you’re, or having lots of missing punctuation just tells me that the writer doesn’t care. I have too little time to give to reading as it is…I can’t give it to writers or bloggers who don’t care. You definitely don’t fall into this category. πŸ™‚

  15. One or two in a blog post doesn’t bother me. Word cruft bothers me more because it is deliberate

  16. Pingback: No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links | No Wasted Ink

  17. Pingback: Typos | N. E. White

  18. I seem to spot loads of typos everywhere I visit but I’m blind to my own so annoying when you don’t spot them till much later. Of course being English I spell a little different and that gets pointed out, but I’m sorry I can’t change the way I spell and why should I?
    Good post, I am learning a lot on your site, cheers.
    maggie at expat brazil

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  22. I feel exactly the same way, I just noticed a typo on my latest post and I can’t wait to get home to correct it. I also notice I edited in a typo. Oh dear, alex-

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