On wanting to be told about typos

I recently noticed and corrected some typos in a couple of old posts of mine, which reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to ask about:

Do you want to be told about typos in things you post?

I definitely do. If you see a typo in something I post (and the typo isn’t a joke), please let me know! Ideally gently/kindly, with the goal of giving me the opportunity to correct the error.

(Note: When I say “typo” in this context, I mean things like misspellings or misplaced punctuation—things that are very definitely and clearly errors (whether caused by mistyping or not). (Also errors like the one I made in a post yesterday, where I repeatedly referred to an author by the wrong surname.) I’m not talking about stylistic choices, or outdated prescriptivist rules about prepositions, or other stuff that reasonable people might disagree about.)

But I learned a while back that there are people who don’t want to be told about such things; some such people even consider mentions of typos to be attacks, no matter how gently such mentions are phrased.

So I’m curious about what y’all’s preferences are, with the understanding that different people have different preferences.

(I don’t promise to remember your individual preferences, though.)

(Wrote this in September, but didn’t post it at the time; lightly edited and updated it today.)

2 Responses to “On wanting to be told about typos”

  1. Jillian

    I feel like there’s a difference between an obvious typo and a grammatical error. Like if it’s an obvious typo, yes please correct it! If it’s a grammatical error and the would-be editor isn’t my boss correcting a doc for work before it goes out, I want my stylistic freedom in blog posts!

  2. Bhadrika

    I have noticed when people object to correction, it often seems to grow from a sense that one can only do one thing at a time, so if you were noticing form, you must have been ignoring content. I don’t know how much of this stems from universalizing one’s own neurology (I’ve seen it a lot in Neurotypicals being offended by the parallel processing of ADHD brains) versus it being learned from school teachers appearing to grade form over content.


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