The typo hunters. August 6, 2010Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: book reviews, grammar books, The Great Typo Hunt, typos
Our friend Ben discovered last night that some benighted soul had come onto our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, through the following search engine phrase: “what gets monarcks atenchen.” Not being a monarch myself, I’m afraid I can’t answer the question, but as a writer and editor, I can say that such egregious misspelling certainly got my attention. It also reminded me of a book review I’d just read in a “new releases” promo from Amazon.
The book in question is called The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time. It’s not often a book on language, grammar, spelling and punctuation gets published, much less gets media attention—Eats, Shoots and Leaves comes to mind—but our friend Ben is willing to bet that The Great Typo Hunt is headed for the bestseller lists. That’s because it’s an adventure and a quest, in the Arthurian sense, as well as a look at the state of American English in the era of “r u down wiv that.”
The quest: To seek out and correct typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors wherever they were found. The Amazon review says it better: “Armed with markers, chalk, and correction fluid, [authors Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson] circumnavigated America, righting the glaring errors displayed in grocery stores, museums, malls, restaurants, mini-golf courses, beaches, and even a national park.” (Which, as it happened, got them hauled into court for defacing federal property and violating, sic, ”criminal statues.” In my day, our friend Ben has seen a number of so-called statues that I would rate as criminal, but I digress.)
In other words, we’re talking about a classic road-trip book here, a recounting of what one reviewer called “a Strunk & White Odyssey.” Sounds like a fun ride and a fun read as we follow the two “grammar vigilantes” around the country. Our friend Ben enthusiastically recommends it to everyone who’s wished there was a marker handy when coming upon yet another sign that says “it’s” when it means to say “its.”
The Great Typo Hunt, by Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson (Crown, 2010, $23.99 list price, $14.39 on Amazon)