How do we characterize the error, on behalf of the author - of not actually reading through his or her own copy, and catching the errors that the spellcheck made.

CNN is supposed to be a class act. Its a News Network, and whenever its accuracy is called into question it costs them money. Granted, the following article is an entertainment piece - but the question remains as to what kind of error this is:

"Pandora is a pristine world and there is the synergy between all of the creatures of the planet and I think that strikes a deep cord within people that has a wishfulness and a wistfulness to it," Lang said. "James Cameron had the technical resources to go along with this incredibly fertile imagination of his and his dream is built out of the same things that other peoples' dreams are made of."

Is this a spelling error? We know that the author simply ran spellcheck and was not able to catch the directed dialogue / wizard prompt that required a correction of the word 'chord' - it replaced it with the word 'cord' , which is a skein of rope or a bundle of wood.

This same type of error is the reason why, when reading websites, there are those who will follow fake wizard prompts that will direct the viewer to a website that installs malware on their machine - or the phishing email that , when readers do not mouse over their URL to check it and ensure that the domain matches the company completely (including TLD), end up being 'phished'.

This error can be thought of not so much as a misspelling but rather a malspelling of the word - the author was unable to do the simple cognitive work of actually reading the dialogue prompts that were before him when he ran his obligatory, corporate policy spellcheck.

There really is very little difference in this kind of error, than in allowing someone to install malware upon your machine. The effect of these errors upon our language remains to be seen. But what can be said is that this sort of invisible effect upon us will take its toll - malware is a form of thoughtlessness and disregard for humanity - it destroys machines, making the simple task extremely difficult. I would argue that this sort of error communicates the sense of hopelessness one feels when malware is installed on ones machine - the needless activity that arose as a result of someone else's inability to conceive that you even exist.

The fact that this error occurred (it may be corrected , but at time of writing it was still in the article) in an article about virtual reality makes it all the more pressing that these forms of malaproprism should be identified and pedagogically addressed else we will one day end up with the equivalent of malware installed into our society.

Which, of course, means, everyone will be listening to Gene Loves Jezebel on their ipod...


Anonymous said…
zomg noooooo
yeah, its kind of like that song by the Dead Milkmen, you know?

Man I hate Gene Loves Jezebel
if there is a God in Heaven
that band will surely burn in hell