Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: "Just My Typo" by Drummond Moir

"If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written." (266)
As is to be expected, Just My Typo by Drummond Moir is a novelty, flip-through type book.  Though I do love a good typo, this book didn't hold much beyond what a blog post or Buzzfeed article might contain.  Moir broke the typos up into chapters of similar types: literature, historical/political, legal, Bible, and even autocorrect typos to name a few.

In some cases, the book told a story about the typo, which were my favorite part.  Specifically, I enjoyed examples of typos that made a reader misinterpret the text so completely.  A Harvard literary critic analyzed a passage from Melville's White Jacket that read "soiled fish" instead of "coiled fish."  He wrote "rather gushingly, that 'hardly anyone but Melville could have created the shudder that results from calling this frightening vagueness some 'soiled fish of the sea'" (11).

In a later example, a misprint in a Bible leads a preacher to discuss what "I am fearfully and wonderfully mad" meant, as the "e" had been left of "made" (141).

Most of the book though was repeated examples of the same type of mistakes, such as four separate examples of when "pubic" was used instead of "public." I get that these are funny because of the serious nature of the documents they usually occur on, but I don't need to see it four times to get it.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.


  1. Sounds like a book of blog or Facebook posts.

    1. That definitely would have been a more practical and interesting medium for the material.