As I was about to tell you about some amusing typographical errors (‘typos’) that happen when people text or e-mail, I remembered the classic typo in a script for the 1970s TV soap “Crossroads”. Noele Gordon, playing Crossroads motel boss Meg Mortimer, was rehearsing ‘talking’ to someone on the phone when Ann George, playing cleaning lady Amy Turtle, entered, vacuuming the carpet…noisily!
Noele turned to Ann and said “What are you doing?” to which Ann replied, “What it says in my script!” Producing her copy out of her overall pocket, she showed it to Noele, who burst out laughing, saying, “It’s a mis-print. It should say ‘Amy is HOVERING in the background!’”
If we don’t notice a typo before we send a message it can cause much hilarity for the receiver and puce-faced embarrassment for the sender. Although we can always blame the arch-enemy of stubby fingers and coherent grammar…predictive text.
As in this example… “Sorry I can’t meet you tomorrow. I’m expecting the delivery of a three-piece swede”.
On-line news often contain ‘typos’ like the one I read on the website of a well-respected daily newspaper when referring to the cost of living…
“Pensioners on fixed incomes are becoming increasingly concerned about princes!”
One particular pensioner who resides in Buckingham Palace has good cause to be very concerned about princes!
Some prime examples of hilarious ‘typos’ occur on TV subtitles, which have to be typed at break-neck speed by the subtitlers so that the words exactly match the images on the screen, which may only last a few minutes.
Take this mis-spelt subtitle for example…
“I find it shocking that in this day and age, these people are still living in Dickinson conditions!”
Does that mean they have fake tans, wear shiny suits and spend their days wandering around antique shops?
My favourite mis-spelt subtitle has to be the one that appeared during a big-budget BBC costume drama. The subtitle should have read as follows… “Anton walks across to the open French windows and starts peering into the garden”. Unfortunately, the subtitler left the ‘r’ out of ‘peering’.
Well it made me smile!