My “day job” was as a keywording specialist for an internet company that sells images online, and one of the duties was to correct the errors of my predecessors. Additionally, I volunteer to identify “mystery bugs” at AllExperts.com. Both of these activities have occasionally generated some hilarious typographical errors.
Our company once outsourced some keywording to workers outside the U.S. This made for some intriguing interpretations of spelling. Among my favorites: the “Ladder Day Saints.” Gee, talk about being high and mighty. “Pungent Sound, Washington.” Well, there goes the travel and tourism industry. “Neckless.” Well, it is pretty hard to wear a necklace if you have no neck, don’t you think?! “Glasswear.” Be careful, dear, you don’t want to fall down in that garment…and you might want to put on some underwear.
Over on AllExperts, too many people who ask me questions disregard spelling and punctuation entirely. A few, however, go to great lengths to explain their situation, and to describe the insect or spider that is plaguing them. I always ask that they please include the location where the creature was found, but in one case I couldn’t find “Californai” on the map.
Far and away my most favorite error, bless this woman’s heart, had to do with an infestation of something in her attic. I know that she meant to write “fecal” matter as one of the clues to her pest problem, but in what has to be one of the most unfortunate typos ever, it came out “fetal” matter. I laughed so hard I was almost in the fetal position. Once I regained my composure I told her that she needed to contact the local authorities to evict the underground abortion clinic in her attic. Oh, my. Keep those cards and letters coming, folks.