Often we see that eloquent people end up making the silliest of typos. The most common form of typos found in a written piece are- omission of word/words, rearrangement of letters, abrupt sentences and grammatical errors of person and tense.
This tendency of typos is due to the primitive wiring of the human mind and closely related to “The Doorway Effect”. It is believed that passing through and entering in a new doorway resets the memory to make room for creation of a new environment. Thus, making us forget as the thought process changes abruptly. In simpler words, when we are thinking and we enter a new room, we will end up forgetting why we were in the said room because our brain stops focusing on the thought abruptly and starts identifying the new environment.
A parallel can be drawn from the above effect onto our online writing. When we are writing on an electronic device, we create a virtual room marked by the brightness of the screen. However, when we pause to think of something, we end up taking our eyes off the bright screen and focus elsewhere. This change of brightness creates an illusion to the mind of passing through a doorway. Hence, most of the times when we resume writing after that flick of a second, we end up losing our chain of thoughts and the new piece turns disconnected from the original narrative. In fact, language experts can also identify the exact point in the written piece where the author’s thoughts started to taper off due to this effect.
The rearrangement of letters happens due to deep conditioning of traditional school practices. In schools we are taught to take the pen to paper approach. Our minds are conditioned to work as we write and the thoughts keep on flowing. However, in the case of the technology, our minds are not deeply trained to synchronize finger movement with thoughts. Hence BECAUSE often becomes BECUASE or BCAUSE or BECAUS, because our mind jumps to the next word while our fingers are still catching up.
The omission of words occurs in both handwritten and typed documents. It is rather a classic sign of an intelligent mind – where the thoughts run faster. It is also magnificent to note a tendency here called ‘The Author’s Bias’. When the author is writing a piece, the thoughts are already set in the mind, so even if a word is missed between the sentences, the author’s brain will fill in the word in imagination and that’s why an author can never find mistakes in his/her own written piece. As you read and re-read your article, your mind will recognize the gap of the missing word and fill it up mentally to complete the sentence. Therefore, it is always advisable to have a second set of eyes to review your written article!
Authored by Evita Shekhar Sood