Never Waste A Typo

Today is short story day, and SPOILER ALERT! If you read on, it’ll give away the punchline of this week’s story, so you might want to jump over and read it here first. You can always come back here later. It’s just a ramble about my terrible editing skills, anyway.

SPOILER ALERT in case you completely skipped my usual preamble above. I wouldn’t blame you.

This week’s short story is brought to you by a typo.

It doesn’t matter how many times you read through your own writing, or how well you think you’ve checked it, something always sneaks through. We’re so used to our own words, so attuned to their rhythm and the way they look on the page, that we just can’t get the distance to see certain mistakes. Repetitions, substituted words that spellcheck doesn’t pick up – they’re always creeping around.

Which is why we have editors.

But every now and then, a typo surfaces that is so wonderfully brilliant that you think the Magic Realism Bot has been at work again.


“Kevin pressed his hands harder against the surface of the bubble, his muscles bugling dangerously under his jacket.”

Did you catch it?

Now go read the short story, All Wishes Are Granted. Enjoy!


What about you? Any favourite typos or word substitutions you’ve come across?


8 thoughts on “Never Waste A Typo

  1. My example comes from a student paper, and showed up later on a handout on common intro student writing mistakes. In writing about a social issue, a student wrote, “This is a {viscous} cycle.” What he meant was that it was a {vicious} cycle. Late at night, while grading endless papers, this struck me as hilarious. As I explained to students (later in a different class – no student shaming), viscous cycles are tricky and probably require some cleaning solvent, but they are not usually vicious. For my students, this was a small lesson in using simpler words, and not always counting on spellcheck.

    I will now read the story and find out why the muscles are bugling.

    1. Ugh, accommodate and embarrassed are probably my two most annoying words. There are far too many repeated letters in there to make sense!

  2. I loved this! I read the short story before I finished the blog post, so I didn’t have any clue what was coming. Your writing never fails to surprise me or make me laugh.

    I used a picture of one of my favorite typos on a recent blog post. It was a terribly written book to begin with, from the looks of things, but the picture of the kindle page showed a kissing scene (adolescent stuff) with “her anus around his neck.” Painful and sooooo not sexy.

    1. Ew! That is likely not the image they were going for! (And may also require medical attention).

      I’m glad my spoiler alerts worked – and very happy you enjoyed it!

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