Just Your Type

Type, design, writing and other funny stuff

Glass houses: if you’re going to call out grammar…

This screen shot came from our local TV station. Take it from me: if you’re giving advice about spelling and quality, maybe you should spring for a proofreader.

That said, I had to look up “counterfeit” to see whether it was spelled correctly. That word looks wrong even when it’s right. (It is. That’s not the problem here.) I have the same problem with “foreign.” No matter how many times I write it, I have to double-check the spelling.

And then there’s “fair.” I can’t spell it correctly on the first try even when I’m writing this paragraph about how I can’t spell it correctly on the first try. I know how to spell it, but my fingers insist on typing “fiar.” (And holy craziness! When I went to spell it wrong for you, my fingers spelled it “fair.” C’mon!

 

What words trip you up?

Previously on Just Your Type:

Mean what you say

I'd love to think the Flat Earth Society has a great sense of humor. More likely, they have more interest in being provocative than in being correct. And they don't read their own posts much, or the one above might not have hung around as long as it did. Now, if you...

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Kerning is king

Okay, the photo they chose for their ad doesn’t help the confusion, but is their bar name one word or two? I'm guessing it’s located close to either a hospital or a frat house. If the latter, it's spelled "rapey." And c'mon, guys: it's li’l, not lil’. The apostrophe...

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Cast of characters

#HashtagsAreAllTheRage. Oddly, that # character isn't called a hash—not in America, anyway. We call it the pound sign, or (with pinky raised) the octothorpe. (The geniuses at Bell Laboratories gave that fancy name when they added it to the telephone keypad, because...

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Prime time

When I first saw print ads featuring a prime when they meant to use an apostrophe, I considered it the sign of another amateur who got his first computer. When a similar gaffe appeared in a Time Magazine ad—the ad must have cost $30,000—I could imagine how my parents...

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Dot… dot… dot…

So I was thinking… how fast can I introduce improper use of the ellipsis?Not bad, eh? Just three words in.Strictly speaking, the ellipse is used to when something is missing or unfinished. Like when I quote “Four score and seven years ago…” and don’t finish the rest...

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Do you have to dash?

So you have a train of thought—you get siderailed—then you get back on track. That's a good time to use a dash. To make it you just type two hyphens--Ooohhhh, no you don't.A hyphen is a hyphen. Find it between the 0 and the = on your keyboard. It's used to...

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Who's this guy?

"Mick" is Michael Campbell, a book designer, graphic artist and writer. His humor column, The Dumpster, closes every issue of Food & Spirits Magazine. Author of Are You Going To Eat That?, and the new 2017 book of seventy hilarious all new essays, Of Mice and Me.
A singer songwriter too. New CD My Turn Now is available now!