Thursday, June 23, 2011

Please excuse any typos

I've noticed a trend amongst mobile device users to add automatic footers to their email messages along the lines of "please excuse any typos, sent from my mobile device.*"

*The only one of such messages that I will exempt from the forthcoming diatribe belongs to the Zeph, because his, "if this message looks like I typed with my elbows..." is at least humorous.

Now I get that typing on a tiny little touch screen is more difficult and perhaps makes one more prone to typing errors (though with the autocomplete feature, such an assertion is debatable--more likely than spelling errors are autocompleting an unintended word errors). That's fine.

But does reading from a little screen prevent you from reading what you wrote? I mean you just read the message you're responding to and seemed to not have any problems. So why can't you read what you wrote to make sure you spelled everything right. Don't you do that anyway? And especially don't you read what you wrote if you're sending a "reply all" to something like 2,000 employees* of a major corporation?

*Another topic from which I'll spare you my rare but fun rants is the tendency at my current employer to send "reply all" messages to release announcements redundantly reiterating the congratulatory message of the original. It seems that there is a direct correlation between one's perceived relative importance and one's propensity to send such a response. But I'm guessing that nobody is keeping track of whether all the VPs and the most self-important of the directors have sent such a response. OK, I guess I didn't spare you the rant and you got a tangential rant instead. Moving on.

I think I'm going to make a new footer that says "Please excuse any typos. Though I may or may not have sent this from my mobile device, I was too lazy to proofread my massage."


  1. Even proofreading can be dicey from an iPhone. Sometimes you try to RFID (that last word was SUPPOSED to be "fix") the word and it mutates to something even more bizarre and it posts at the same time. I imagine the RIM thing is no better. Bringing a laptop along for coffee is a comparative PIA so this is simply another facet of modern life. Your proposed footer might catch on and THEN where would we be?

  2. a more appropriate footer would be "please excuse any typos, i typed this while driving my suv 74 miles per hour on the freeway, trying to meet some friends for a ride, and hoping you won't notice i'm not at my desk for a while."

  3. Just found this on the web. Funny part is that the footer you proposed was either not proofed or intentionally misspelled to get the point across

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