The eloquence of typos

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This is President Trump’s official inauguration portrait, on sale at the United States Library of Congress. Isn’t it magnificent?

And it has a beautiful little typo in it – particularly beautiful because it’s surrounded by high flown, grandiose language. In its own subversive little way, this typo is art.

Typos and grammatical errors are a wonderful clue that you’ve just received a spam email. I had one less than two hours ago and it contained this line:

The following changes to your Apple ID {{email}} where made on 12 February 2017…

It’s very kind of the spammers to signal so clearly that their emails are spam. Even if there are no typos or errors, the clumsy writing gives it away.

Good, clear, coherent, error-free writing tells you something, and so does bad, unclear, incoherent, error-strewn writing.

So when Trump’s inauguration portrait goes on sale with an O missing, at the very least it tells you the people in his administration are in a hurry. Maybe they’re shoddy, or perhaps it’s just really chaotic there at the moment. Or possibly they’re incompetent crooks trying to rip you off.

What they’re clearly not is on top of their game.

Our words say so much more about us than we think they do.