The Great Typo Hunt

The Great Typo Hunt

Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at A Time

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
4
Random House, Inc.
The signs of the times are missing apostrophes.

The world needed a hero, but how would an editor with no off-switch answer the call? For Jeff Deck, the writing was literally on the wall: “NO TRESSPASSING.” In that moment, his greater purpose became clear. Dark hordes of typos had descended upon civilization… and only he could wield the marker to defeat them.

Recruiting his friend Benjamin and other valiant companions, he created the Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL). Armed with markers, chalk, and correction fluid, they circumnavigated America, righting the glaring errors displayed in grocery stores, museums, malls, restaurants, mini-golf courses, beaches, and even a national park. Jeff and Benjamin championed the cause of clear communication, blogging about their adventures transforming horor into horror, it’s into its, and coconunut into coconut.

But at the Grand Canyon, they took one correction too far: fixing the bad grammar in a fake Native American watchtower. The government charged them with defacing federal property and summoned them to court—with a typo-ridden complaint that claimed that they had violated “criminal statues.” Now the press turned these paragons of punctuation into “grammar vigilantes,” airing errors about their errant errand..

The radiant dream of TEAL would not fade, though. Beneath all those misspelled words and mislaid apostrophes, Jeff and Benjamin unearthed deeper dilemmas about education, race, history, and how we communicate. Ultimately their typo-hunting journey tells a larger story not just of proper punctuation but of the power of language and literacy—and the importance of always taking a second look.

Baker & Taylor
A lively account of the authors' haphazard cross-country effort to correct spelling and punctuation errors displayed on public signs relates how they discovered underlying truths about America's educational history and racial heritage.

Blackwell Publishing
"This pair of kooks, with their high standards and principled civil disobedience, give me hope for the future of humanity."ùSteven Pinker, Harvard College professor, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct and The Stuff of Thought

"A compelling read! Deck and Herson have brilliantly combined the exploratory curiosity of the travel writer, the human interest of the storyteller, and the explanatory detail of the language specialist into an original, humorous, and engaging narrative."ùDavid Crystal, author of Just a Phrase I'm Going Through and By Hook or by Crook: A Journey in Search of English

"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."ùRichard 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."ùMichael Malone, author of Handling Sin and The Four Corners of the Sky

"In this seriously funnyùand seriously thoughtfulùbook, a simple typo hunt becomes something more: an investigation into the deeper mysteries of orthographical fallibility. To err is human; to correct, divine!"ùPatricia T. O'Conner, author of Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English

"A funny and obsessive adventure that any language lover will appreciate."ùDavid Wolman, author of Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling

The Signs Of The Times Are Missing Apostrophes.

The world needed a hero, but how would an editor with no off-switch answer the call? For Jeff Deck, the writing was literally on the wall: No Tresspassing. In that moment, his greater purpose became clear. Dark hordes of typos had descended upon civilization...and only he could wield the marker to defeat them.

Recruiting his friend Benjamin and other valiant companions, he created the Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL). Armed with markers, chalk, and correction fluid, they circumnavigated America, righting the glaring errors displayed in grocery stores, museums, malls, restaurants, mini-golf courses, beaches, and even a national park. Jeff and Benjamin championed the cause of clear communication, blogging about their adventures transforming horor into horror, it's into its, and coconunut into coconut.

But at the Grand Canyon, they took one correction too far: fixing the bad grammar in a fake Native American watchtower. The government charged them with defacing federal property and summoned them to courtùwith a typo-ridden complaint that claimed that they had violated "criminal statues." Now the press turned these paragons of punctuation into "grammar vigilantes," airing errors about their errant errand.

The radiant dream of TEAL would not fade, though. Beneath all those misspelled words and mislaid apostrophes, Jeff and Benjamin unearthed deeper dilemmas about education, race, history, and how we communicate. Ultimately, their typo-hunting journey tells a larger story not just of proper punctuation but of the power of language and literacyùand the importance of always taking a second look.

Baker
& Taylor

An account of the authors' haphazard cross-country effort to correct spelling and punctuation errors displayed on public signs relates how they discovered underlying truths about America's educational history and racial heritage.

Publisher: New York : Crown Pub., c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307591074
0307591077
Characteristics: x, 269 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Herson, Benjamin D.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
CedarMill_LauraB Oct 26, 2018

So fun! So satisfying! I wish that I had been on this trip.

t
taffystay
Jul 02, 2012

I wasn't sure what to expect when I checked out this book. After all, how much can you say about the typos that you find around the country? Yet the authors expanded on their quest by introducing the people with whom they interacted, and also had plenty of insightful thoughts sparked by their interactions and adventures. The weakness of the book was that some of the sections were drawn out and included pointless details, but otherwise, this was a fun, easy read.

bookfanatic1979 Nov 28, 2011

I think my favorite thing about this book may be that I didn’t find a single typo in it (though how ironic would it be if I had?). I often feel our country's written correspondence is suffering from an increasing “dumbing down,” so it was refreshing to read about people who not only care about our language, but are doing what they can to inform and educate. The quote I parsed from Benjamin doesn't do him and Jeff justice. They're not grammar Nazis, just two guys trying to make a difference.

Okay, I have to confess. I re-read my entry multiple times before posting—just in case I have a typo. :)

b
Bewlay
Feb 03, 2011

Couldn't muster the interest to finish this book. "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" by Lynne Truss is a lot more fun to read if you're into eradicating typos.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MenloPark

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top