Over on the most-neglected of my three blogs, Where Are the Copy Editors?, I have only created one post during the entire calendar year of 2011. Yet it's proven to be unusually popular, with dozens of hits within a couple of hours of publication.
Headlined "By Far the Best Typo of 2011," it points the reader to a howler of a typographical error in a new book by Craig Shirley called December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World. (Suffice it to say that the book is rife with errors of all sorts. In the chapter I read last night, Shirley used the word "causality" when he meant "casualty." Every page has some kind of mistake like that, and each one could have easily been caught by an editor in the manuscript stage. Such things should never even make it to galley proofs.)
In any case, this very funny typo -- you have to read the original post to get the full impact -- has, relatively speaking, gone viral. ("Relatively" meaning nowhere near as popular as the Lindsay Lohan Playboy photos.)
I Tweeted a link to the post that was reTweeted by the popular Wisconsin Twitter personality, MissPronouncer.
By Far the Best Typo of 2011:bit.ly/saOY4T
— Rick_Sincere (@Rick_Sincere) December 18, 2011
Then it got picked up elsewhere on Twitter and repackaged with a clever pun:
The caret and the shtick: Why everybody needs an edictor bit.ly/vMmBtq
— Jon Belmont (@jbelmont) December 18, 2011
I'm not sure whether the retweet by @MissPronouncer or the new Tweet by @jbelmont was the driver for it, but the thing is, for a blog that had an average of zero views over the past four weeks, to get 75 or 100 hits within a few hours is, as I say, "viral," in a humble and relative sense. It's also great fun.
I have not yet finished reading December 1941 but I do wish that I had started with a blue pencil on page one, just to keep track of all the bad editing of an otherwise entertaining and educational book.