Monday, July 19, 2010

You can't hide from your own typos in cyberspace... proofread well.

Note: this is a post about typos and Twitter, not what should or shouldn't be built at Ground Zero.

Mediaite ran a piece yesterday about a message Sarah Palin had tweeted earlier in the day.

The story says it appears someone inside Palin's camp recognized the vocabulary error (i.e., that "refudiate" is not a word), and the tweet was quickly replaced on Palin's Twitter account with the following:

While deleting the original tweet was the best thing Palin could have done under the circumstances, the quick action didn't stop many, many people (like comedian Andy Borowitz, below) from having fun with the error.
If it was deleted quickly, how did so many people see it?

Programs like TweetDeck download tweets in close to real-time, meaning that once you've tweeted something, it's likely been downloaded somewhere.

Once it's been downloaded, the TweetDeck user can save the tweet indefinitely -- and can post a screenshot that will last long after you've deleted the original from your Twitter account.

I've experienced this myself: I recently published a tweet containing an error, recognized it immediately, logged in to, deleted it and published a new one... but not before one of my followers had re-tweeted the original to all of her followers.

Luckily for me, there are fewer people in the business of catching and ridiculing my mistakes than Sarah Palin's.

Proofread, proofread, proofread.

The moral of this story, of course, is to make sure your message is correct before you hit "send."

To do that effectively, you need to be able to spot your own error as such; so I'm not sure that even extra-careful proofreading would have helped Sarah Palin this time around (see video below, about 1 minute in).

But still.

Proofread. It's good for you.

And if you have a tendency to invent words, have a friend proofread for you, too.

1 comment:

  1. Makin' up words is a real "Mavericky" thing to do.