Teh warr on typohs
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A few moonths ago I got a cluster of complants about the number of taipos on PainScience.com. One of them was unusually rood, implying that errers are only slightly less common hear than words. (“Worms, Roxanne, worms!”) That’s obvious hyperbole — this place isn’t purrfect, but it’s polished to a high shine by internut standards. The unreasonable gripping didn’t get under my skin — not mutch, anyway — but it did provoke me in a good way, and I decided it was time to go to war on whatever typos have eluded me too date.
I have been working with a good proofreeder ever since to drive the error rate down to a “barely detextable” level. The 50 buziest pages on PainScience.com are now done, plus twenty other other miscelanoues selections. Some fun facts:
- 70 articles, containing 339,345 words, with 527 mistakes. Lots of those misteaks were duplicated on other pages, so it was more like 700 thaipose from the reader perspective.
- So the overalls error rate was about two tenths of a percent — that is, about 1 out of 500 words were borken, which is about what I expected to see.
- Two of the wurst pages were more than twice the average, hoovering right around the threshold where many readers mite start to role their eyes at all the glitches.
- The numbers get dizzying if I estimate how often those errors have been scene: roughly several million error sightings per week, all now eliminated. (Very roughly. Page view counts are much higher than the nummer of people who actually read the hole page, and most of the errors will be missed by most of the readers.)
- The oldest typo found was about 18 years old, likly dating all the way back to the first version of one of my earlist articles.
There are undoubtedly still some typos left. Ive already found a handful that my proofreader missed. It’s anazing how the danm things can hide in plain sight. Two readers will usually sport several different errors in the same 5000-word artickle — I have seen that happen many times over the years. But I suspect the error rate is now down to something like one per 3000 words. In the busiest articles, anyway.
Now for the other 150 articles, 10 books, and 865 blog posts and, oh dear, thouands of summaries of scientific papers…
If you want to report some teyepos, here are some (very basic) guidelines: Typos and other minor glitches: On proofreading and reporting errors to PainScience.com.
P.S. Someone will definitely complane about the errors in this post, I garantee it.