By HAMZAH ALAM
Typositis is a real problem in our modern Internet-savvy society. Afflicting multiple parts of the body, mainly the brain, fingers and eyes, typositis can cause the diseased patient to make typos at a much higher rate than usual. Unlike most diseases such as influenza or smallpox, there is no vaccine or cure for typositis, and those afflicted exhibit symptoms rapidly and acutely. The only way to deal with typositis is to live with it and catch its symptoms as they appear. These are the stories of some of those infected with this unique, dangerous disease.
Typos come in many shapes and sizes. Some are simple, one-letter replacements that can be easily fixed. Others involve more complex errors that can leave whoever reads the typo confused. “Some typos I make are very simple, like switching the ‘o’ and the ‘e’ in ‘homework’, and they usually don’t take away anything from the conversation.” said senior Patrick Namazian. “That is probably the most common typo I have made, as far as I can remember. Usually, I don’t make complex typos, but if I do, I try to make sure I go back and clarify what I was trying to say.”
“‘One sec’ is always a tricky one for me,” said junior Carolyn Wang. “The ‘x’ and the ‘c’ are pretty close together on the keyboard, and usually, it’s not too big of a deal, since it’s a pretty common typo, and a lot of the people I know have made that typo before. But sometimes, it can ruin the mood of a perfectly platonic conversation. Whenever I make my typos, I always try to go back and correct it with the little asterisk in my following text message.”
Typositis and its symptoms are also quite common on handwritten assignments, such as English essays or lab reports. “I don’t usually get very many typos, but the one that I do get that really puts me off is when students write ‘spilt’ instead of ‘spilled,’” said AP Physics teacher Mr. Smay. “There’s really no reason for anybody to misspell that word so horrendously. If you have been spelling it from a young age, hopefully you’ve been spelling it correctly, and if not, you should have at least learned to write it properly by the time you get to high school.”
Students are not the only demographic with a high rate of incidence of typositis either. Teachers are susceptible to the disease and can fall victim to the occasional slip-of-the-hand, yielding some interesting and odd effects. “I don’t usually look at my keyboard when I type because I’m mainly looking at my screen, so I make typos on worksheets,” said AP Chemistry teacher Mr. Brighton. “I also use the swipe feature on my phone to type on the keyboard, so that wouldn’t be so much of a typo as it would be a swipe-o. I was also the editor-in-chief at my high school newspaper, so I was constantly looking at articles and headlines, trying to find any grammatical or spelling errors or typos. One time, I completely glossed over the headline on the front page, and it turned out it had a pretty severe typo in it, so that was probably the most interesting typo I’ve made that I can recall.”
“I make typos all the time when writing things out for my students and preparing material for classes,” said English teacher Mrs. Fitzpatrick. “I always proofread whatever I’m writing, however, and so the English teacher in me comes out, and I can usually fix my typos before I print them out. I also think it goes a long way to show your attention detail.”
Personally, I have been diagnosed with typositis for a number of years. My thumbs, along with the rest of my fingers, are incredibly pudgy, and it can be difficult to accurately text or write things in a hurry. The most memorable typo I have made recently is typing out the word “bruh” but autocorrect changing it to the word “antihistamine” because it was spelled so poorly. Whenever I am told a funny joke over text or shown a meme, I have a tendency to react in an excited manner, and type everything in upper case. As a result, autocorrect, my usual savior, cannot operate properly, and so some horrendous typos can be made, such as typing the word “answer” as “snwer.” In an attempt to correct typos in a flash, I have also ended up making even more typos. For example, it once took me 15 corrections to spell “good,” and over the course of those 15 corrections, I switched keyboards on accident three times and sent texts containing emojis, Spanish and characters such as numbers and parentheses, all to correct the misspelling of “good” as “logos.”
There are a number of reasons as to why typos may occur. For example, some people may siumply be in too much of a rush to worry about the misplacement of a single letter. Others may have larger fingers than most, so naturally, they would have higher rate of incidence when it comes to pressing multiple buttons at once. “I usually type incredibly fast, and my phone’s autocorrect can help go back and change slight misspelling of words usually,” said senior Akash Mullick. “Sometimes, my fingers are so over the place that autocorrect can’t identify what word I wanted to use, and that leaves me with a typo that I then have to go back and manually correct. I also think the person who you’re texting could affect how many typos you make. If it’s a formal interaction, then obviously, there will be little to no typos. However, if it’s a good friend, then there are most likely going to be more typos.”
Typos are interesting and sometimes can be entertaining to both maek and read, but they also could have some negative effects on both the reader and typer. “The main reason I don’t like to have conversations over text is because usually half of the sentences I type don’t make much sense,” said Wang. “If you slip up on one letter, sometimes the message can no longer make any sense, and the whole thought goes to waste.”
Typositis can also cause a chnage in mood over the course of a conversation. For exmaple, purposely throwing a typo into a serious conversation could help lighten the mood and make it easier to talk to the other person. However, typos can also convey an air of nonchalance, causing formal conversations to lose their touch. Typositis-afflicted patients could also be viewed in a negative light after making a particularly dangerous typo in a professional or formal email. “Sometimes I will have a student who will ask me a question via email, or perhaps a request from a student to write a letter of recreation,” said Fitzpatrick. “If they send me an email that is riddled with typos, I tend not to take it as seriously. I try not to judge, because people can sometimes be in a hurry, but if they are asking for something like a letter of recommendation, then having typos in the request sets off alarm bells in my head as to whether or not the student is taking the recommendation seriously or not.”
Typos can be great sources of entertainment, and can make for some great inside jokes. However, as texting grows more habitual, the frequency of typos will only increase, and with them, the potential for a serious typo that could leave both the typer and reader laughing. However, there is a time and place for typos, and so they ought to be managed under the apporpriate conditions. Around friends and those who you are comfortable with, it is acceptable to display symptoms of typositis. However, around those with whom it is preferred to be professional and courteous with, typos can end up doing more harm than good. Once again, if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with typositis, you may be in danger. Contact your local dictionary today, and pray to the typing gods that you may not have to suffer such a disease.