The invention of the keyboard was a boon to communication. It was also a boon to miscommunication.
I was reminded of this last night in a chat room, when someone typed in a little family anecdote involving his moth-in-law. Did this mean he had unusually intimate relationships with insects? In-laws are acquired by marriage. Who do you have to marry to acquire a moth-in-law? But of course he meant “mother-in-law,” and his fingers garbled the message.
Recently I was trying to find out how to buy a bearded lizard online. I’ve always loved reptile pets, and these little guys have become very popular. The “beard” is a threat display that pet lizards very rarely use.
For some reason, my fingers kept typing in “beaded lizard.” This is a very serious mistake. The Mexican beaded lizard is closely related to the Gila monster, only it’s a little bigger and a little more poisonous. What a difference a simple letter “r” makes.
Then there are “the Untied States of America”–a cryptic comment on our country’s future?–and flyers for “marital arts” schools in the neighborhood, and that ever-popular song that says, “These are a few of my favorite thighs.” And I’ve always been fond of “priates” and “Indains,” and “ture or flase” questions, and “simularity,” whatever that means.
The things we type should keep us humble.