“One Little Letter” by Benjamin Herson
So I recently took a flight that was slightly overbooked and offered to stay behind. I was given a wonderful little voucher for $400 more travel. Unfortunately, that means I can’t go through priceline.com or some such useful website to buy the ticket, I have to use the airline’s directly, which I couldn’t quite figure out. So I called them, got myself booked on a flight, was quite pleased with the customer service, and went to forward the confirmation to my girlfriend–so she could see when I’m coming home.
Boy was I surprised to discover I was flying out of a different airport. One little letter can make all the difference sometimes. MHT had been entered as MDT, moving my departure location from Manchester, NH to Harrisburg, PA. (Actually, because of the way the e-mail lists your first name, middle initial, and where you’re flying out of, I’d first thought they’d gotten my name wrong: Benjamin D. Harrisburg. Hey, I’ve been mistaken for a certain President, and this wasn’t that far off.)
So I had to call back. And do it all over again. All due to one tiny miskey. There are plenty of times, I’ll grant you, when a typo doesn’t make THAT much difference. Sure, it can reflect poorly on you or communicate something about your level of care/dedication, but it doesn’t change the meaning of the word your reader can figure out. However, it’s best to build the habit of catching typos whenever possible so that you are ready when that one typo comes along that can change everything. Fortunately, I managed to catch this one before 24 hours had passed, or else I wouldn’t have been able to get it refunded.
• For more funny, insightful typo take-downs, visit The Great Typo blog.
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