Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Great Typo Hunt

The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time by Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson is, according to the Philalphia Inquirer, "travel porn for copy editors."

I think this book offers a unique, funny twist on the typical grammar guide by adding elements of classic road-trip/travel writing narrative and a quirky bromance of two English nerds out to save the world from typos. There's been some discussion that the authors avoid the more serious issues or questions that arose regarding race, class, and geographic variances in linguistic standards/norms, or rather the underlying sociolinguistics of it all but the book lives up to what it's marketed as. If I were still teaching English, I would have photocopied some chapters by now and shared them with my class. I think students will find this kind of grammar book more digestible--and fun--than a traditional grammar lesson, plus it invites lots of conversation.

Here's what others are saying about it:

“Only Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson could make the complete decline of the English language so entertaining. It's heartening to accompany these two young men on their quixotic quest to identify and rehabilitate the typos, spellos, and prepostrophes that threaten to bring down civilization as we know it.”
—Richard Lederer, author of Anguished English

“With sly humor and pitch-perfect tone, Jeff and Benjamin take us on a hilarious ride in a '97 Sentra around the U.S.A. in search of malapropisms and misprints on everything from menus to marquees, bumpers to billboards. It's a spell-checker's On the Road, a Strunk & White Odyssey, a charming Travels with My Dictionary with two young men who start as linguists and end as friends.”
—Michael Malone, author of Handling Sin and The Four Corners of the Sky

“In this seriously funny--and seriously thoughtful--book, a simple typo hunt becomes something more: an investigation into the deeper mysteries of orthographical fallibility. To err is human; to correct, divine!”
—Patricia T. O'Conner, author of Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English

You can also follow them on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, or their blog.

So tell me, what are your greatest typo pet peeves?

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