Have you noticed how we sometimes make errors while writing or speaking that cause great embarrassment and awkwardness? We don’t intent to say or write the wrong thing but it just seems to happen. It’s like a phenomenon outside the realm of our control. Typos are a common cause for embarrassment.Or so I’d like to believe to salvage my self-image after admitting in this post that I am extremely prone to making them, thanks to my carelessness. Some years back I was crowned the Typo Queen by a friend who found it extremely taxing to constantly interpret my typos on chat. I shouldn’t even be wasting any space on my typos. You guys get to read them almost each time you read a post here. My mom, whenever she finds the time to reads a post or two, promptly points out the typos and makes me correct them. If you live in her house, you jolly well do what she asks you to. Not only have I written wrong spelling often, I have also had a few classic foot in mouth moments along the way-the kind that make you wonder why you couldn’t keep your mouth shut in the first place. Like Ritu’s son, I have called my mother a good cooker in front of a room full of hostel friends, who first laughter their hearts out, and then went on to make my life living hell teasing me relentlessly about the fabulous cooker for days together. Somewhere around the same time, aka the Era of the Fabulous Cooker, I inadvertently called my poor beloved father an electrician instead of an electrical engineer. This time around I was surrounded by a few nice friends who tried to cover up for me, turning the whole thing into a joke by finding similar equivalents for their dads. So the builder became a construction worker, the scientist a lab technician and the professor an assistant teacher. More recently I have been found using self explanatory English words like “talken” while speaking to seniors at work and have been caught almost calling a colleague’s wife a fisherwoman. I have nothing to say in my defence other than “These things just seem to happen! I am really not responsible!!” Come to think of it, the foot in mouth disease is probably a genetic thing. I know of this one super distant uncle – I think I have met him exactly twice in all my entire life and thank God for that- who suffers from a serious case of the disease. But unlike me, he tends to embarrass others more than himself. Like the time he was describing this wonderful vacation he had taken with his family to my mom at a crowded party and said ” aap ko bhi wahan vacation par jaana chahiye. The beaches, I tell you, are just erotic!” My mom dint know where to look, the man dint know what he had said wrong. Somewhere in the large gene pool that I have accumulated from both my parents’ side, could be this foot-in-mouth gene. Its possible. I dont know anyone else in the family who suffers from the disease. It might be one of those latent genes that shows up in 1 per 100 family members.
Typos aside there are also cases where a sentence sounds perfectly alright to us when we construct it in our head or write it out and perfectly wrong when we re-read it or someone else reads it. The kind that give a completely wrong picture and lend an unintended connotation. I haven’t made any of those errors… yet… but I have encoutered a couple of them made by others in my professional domain.
While flipping through various documents at work I found some “blunderful” errors that sounded so funny when I read them that I just had to share them with you. The sole purpose of writing them down here is to bring a smile to your face. I, in no way, mean to make fun of those who have inadvertently written them. I would be the last person to make fun. God know I may move from my presently harmless typos to the next more dangerous level anytime. The lines in italics are my first reactions on reading the lines.
“Our health programme has shown tremendous impact in the villages. Common diseases are being treated in the early stages. Referrals are made to government hospitals in serious cases that cannot be treated by our doctors. RCH (reproductive and child health) in the area has seen considerable improvement. Majorly our achievements in RCH can be mentioned as below:
167 neonates vaccinated.
206 expectant mothers provided with supplements
144 institutional deliveries
4 maternal deaths.”
(!!) Maternal death? An achievement!? You defeat the whole purpose of your employment, young man!
“It was noted that in the monsoon the lone seasonal river of the village overflew.”
Oh cool, flying rivers!
“We have conducted 3STD camps. This month our patients reduced to only 12. In the next month we will make more effort to create more patients”
Err I though your job was to reduce patients. Spread awareness and curb the spread of the disease. Things work funnily in the developmental field- it’s not always about numbers here. And what exactly does creating patients mean anyway?
Sample 4: Contributed by the boss during one of her lighter moods.
I have seen your advertisement for a job vacancy. I would like to appraise you…”
Oh yeah? And after appraising her do you think you will get an interview call?
A typo, an incorrectly used word, a wrongly framed sentence- all causes for great embarrassment and discomfiture, but all equally good post material!