I’ve noticed a funny phenomenon when I type: My fingers sometimes type out words that are spelled similarly or may even be derived from the word I intended, but are not. I notice other people also do this. It seems to happen automatically, such as when I want to type the word real and end up with really. Or just now, when I typed the word “type” in the last sentence, my fingers automatically put in the word “of” to follow. I had to go back and delete it. I don’t know if it happens for some reason like I’ve got a million things going on in my head and I just automatically type the words and phrases that are most common, regardless of whether I intend them or not.
I have to be very careful about this because I’ve found I can get into some trouble. For example, I’ve typed the following sentences in emails:
Here’s what we accomplished at the eternal meeting. (I meant external.)
That depends on his pubic speaking skills. (I meant public.)
In that case, Barack Obama would bean Hillary Clinton. (I meant beat — hmmm, maybe not.)
She has a bit part in the presentation. (I meant big.)
And my favorite,
This technique will help to jog your member. (I meant memory — ahem.)
Then, of course, there are the many, many words for which my fingers just seem to want to transpose or rearrange letters:
from becomes form
new becomes knew
favorite becomes favority (for some strange reason)
community becomes communicty
not to mention the numerous grammatical errors, especially:
your for you’re
to for too
Sometimes I feel like I’m in third grade.
Does anyone know what this phenomenon is called? Has it happened to you? If so, please share some examples.
Ruth Sherman • Ruth Sherman Associates LLC • High Stakes Communications • Greenwich, CT • www.ruthsherman.com