It’s easy to blame “the computer” for all those stupid typos. Vanilla extract mysteriously becomes vaginal extract, and auto-correct changes auto-correct to auto-cucumber. Fact is, typos are the instantiation of our own careless impatience. We do this to ourselves; the machine is just the vehicle. This is not new. So the next time your ‘smart’ phone turns your boss’s daughter’s name from Sally to Slut Puppy, consider this bit of typo history….
In the later part of the 1500s Christopher Barker was the royal printer to Queen Elizabeth I. His son Bob followed in the old man’s footsteps and became a printer too, whereupon in 1631 he needed cash, and decided to print the best selling book of the day – the King James Bible.
Remember. These were the days when every letter in every word on every page was set individually by hand on the printing press. When it came time to print the 10 Commandments we can only assume Bob’s Lean Six Sigma Quality program suffered a glitch causing a crucial ‘not’ to be omitted. This left the seventh commandment to read:
Thou shalt commit adultery.
Here's what the original text looked like.
I can picture some poor schmuck, four hundred years ago, being escorted out of the building and having the parking decal ripped off his donkey cart.