Their r so meny tipos in this countree. What’s a grammar geek to do?
If you follow the advice presented in the book The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time, you might just head out for a typo-fixing, cross-country roadtrip! That’s what Jeff Deck, a former associate editor for Rocks and Minerals magazine, and his co-author Benjamin D. Herson did, anyway.
In the book, the two friends set out to correct misspellings, but trouble quickly finds their newly formed Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL)—and more serious trouble than just how many Cs are in “broccoli.” From running into conflicting style guides to accidentally defacing Federal property to a lesson on the evolution of the English language, Deck and Herson have to figure out the best way to correct mistakes—and decide whether the errors should be corrected at all.
TEAL’s journey, chronicled in first person, is a look into the world of words that most of us don’t usually get to see. Deck and Herson have experience with and an obvious passion for language, but it’s their humorous anecdotes—including a typo hunt in an underground Atlanta mall and a historical conundrum in a church in Arizona dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi (or is that that St. Frances of Assissi?)—that really make this book fun.
Anyone who’s ever rolled his eyes at a typo on a shirt or in a museum will laugh out loud at the chronicles of TEAL’s adventure. Best of all, you don’t have to be a trained editor to appreciate this book; the authors explain every typo they correct, down to the difference between “it’s” and “its.”
More than that, Deck and Herson offer up some new insight about the people who comprise this country and the different styles and mannerisms that make up the patchwork whole. The story is also a lesson in when not to correct a typo—such as at a historical monument or when the creator is not a native English-speaker.
The Great Typo Hunt is a story about two men on a mission, but it’s also a story about America, the people who populate it, and the way they express themselves. Even those of us who haven’t memorized The Chicago Manual of Style can still appreciate the wacky adventures and the tour of the U.S. presented in the book.
The Great Typo Hunt, a 288-page, hardcover book from Crown Publishing, is available now at a list price of $23.99.