Oh, Shift!

A few years ago, Dave (one of my trainers) was writing a workbook.  He proof-read it and passed it over to me.  I proof-read it.  Then I got thirty copies printed up and delivered them to him the night before the class.

He met me at the door, looking slightly nervous.  “Uh, there’s a typo in the workbook,” he began.

I shrugged.  “Whatever.  We’ll fix it in the next batch.”

“Um, okay, but…”

He was relatively new to my company, and we were still in the getting-to-know-you stage.  He looked me square in the eye.  “If you were typing the word ‘shift’, which letter would you absolutely not want to leave out?”

Sure enough, we were instructing our students to shit-click.  I laughed all the way home, then decided that perhaps not everyone would share my puerile sense of humour.  I called Dave back and got him to hand-print a little bitty ‘f’ in each workbook.

My brother’s keyboard actually looks like this.  It’s something about the way he types.  The wear pattern on my keyboard is different, but I’d love to be able to really, truly, shit-click.  And it seems to me that if you use a computer for any amount of time at all, a “Shit” key is not only appropriate, but practically necessary.

Some of my best memories involve typos.  Back in the dark days of my interior design career, I spent a lot of time writing technical specifications, and I also checked specs that other people had written.  I caught lots of typos, but my favourite was the spec that demanded a “certified horney man”.

Hell, I thought they all came that way.  There’s actually a certification for that?  Who does the testing?

Needless to say, the spec was duly modified to read “journeyman”, as it was intended.  But I still think it would’ve been fun to send it out and see what we got.

I also had an unfortunate tendency to discuss “tenant turkey packages”.  These were actually “turnkey” packages (for tenants moving into a new commercial space), but it got to the point where I couldn’t tell if I was seeing “turnkey” and reading “turkey” or vice versa.  And the accompanying mental picture was truly disturbing.

And while we’re in that, er, area…  Try sending out a proposal to redesign your client’s pubic areas.  See how fast you get a response.  I’m not even going to get into all the double-entendres associated with that.  It really is too bad that “public” is so easy to mistype, but it certainly makes for some interesting conversations.

Speaking of mistyping, my blasphemous fingers also insist on addressing my friend Chris as “Christ”.

What’s your favourite typo story?

12 thoughts on “Oh, Shift!

  1. Pingback: Karma Bites | De Libertas Quirkas

  2. Back in the T9 dictionary texting days, I ve often got paper and raped mixed up. They have the same keystrokes

    Apart from that I’ve had more fun with mispronunciations than typos. Side effect of growing up in India 🙂 But never learnt to keep a straight face when people refer to the Bard as SexBear

    ha post idea! Thank you


  3. Great title!

    I had to read this when I saw it. Funny stuff! I think I’ve suffered multiple instances of self-inflicted mistyping.

    Must be some type of Freudian slip of the fingers?

    -Jim Henderson


  4. Too funny! I also have the same problem when typing Chris, he invariably comes out as Christ and I know about four people named Chris! Oddly enough, when typing our our marriage vows last summer there was a section about “honouring Christ” and of course, just to mess with me, my fingers had us honouring…you guessed it…Chris! What can you do? Fingers never come through when you need them to!


  5. One of my good friends just emailed me:

    “I was reading your blog and I am not sure if you are aware of a grammar mistake.
    Instead of “He was relatively”, you put “He relatively”.
    Just thought I would point that out. Seems appropriate since the topic is typos. HAHAHA!”

    Oh, Shift! (It’s fixed now). 🙂


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