Will a Typo End it All?
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by Frank Shortt
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Recently, Donald Trump, President of the United States, tweeted his joy that Melania, (or is it Melanie?),
was coming home from the hospital after a procedure for a benign kidney ailment. Could it be that he refers to his wife by a pet name
‘Melanie’ in private and could have possibly forgotten that he was tweeting the public? Quien Sabe?
a very sagacious king, once said that ‘a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver’! Since we all are humans,
we have all made slips of the tongue in the past. These ‘slips’ will sometimes offend someone else until the full truth is known.
For instance, a Scottish king once wrote a note to a page, “I am going to kill you”! The page feared for his life until the king explained,
“I meant, I am going to kilt you” which would have been proper as the king prepared his pages for some royal doings. This was caused
because the king hurriedly forgot to cross his t.
News media is completely without anything to print when
a simple typo puts the whole media in a huge frenzy! What would happen if the president should suddenly issue an order to ‘attack’
Puerto Rico, when he meant to say ‘attach’? It is my opinion that most media outlets have become a ‘nation of nitpickers’ who has
nothing to do but stir up the general public with asinine and trivial matters. This is a stain on the whole army of journalists because
the general public is always ready to “throw the baby out with the dishwater”!
Semantics, as defined by Merriam/Webster
is: 1: the study of meanings, the historical and psychological study and the classification of changes in the signification of words
or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development. There are many words in the English language that are spelled alike but have
different meanings. Take the word ‘board’: it could mean a plank of wood, or it could mean a body of men striving to reach a conclusion.
Then if it is spelled differently but pronounced alike, such as ‘bored’, it means that you are experiencing ennui! Now for a sentence
that could easily be used that would stir up every person in media outlets: “I am very board of sitting on this bored and if I had
my way I would use a bored on the next person who boars me with endless detail” Wouldn’t this cause quite a stir?
The leader of a country, in dealing with the nuclear threat, could easily misconstrue words in the other languages, especially when
words in Vietnamese are changed by a small inflection. One name in Vietnamese has many meanings only because it is pronounced differently.
So, here is a headline that could possibly stir up the whole world, or cause the world to be destroyed, only because someone did not
edit what was written: “North Korea is being attacked (attached) by the South with a loud rocket (racket) and these two longtime enemies
are now making piece (peace). What will be the outcome of this show of banding (bonding) together? Could this be the long awaited
piece (peace) teetee (treaty)? No matter the mistakes, this only shows how words can easily be exchanged to mean other things by simply
hitting wrong keys on the keyboard!
In this world of confusion (a modern Babylon) it is of the utmost importance
to say what you mean and mean what you say, but make sure you have a qualified editor who will scrutinize the whole matter before
it is presented to the public. Otherwise, the entire journalistic world will be in turmoil over one misspelled word!