As if there are not enough well-known ailments of old age, new ones keep creeping up on Crabby Old Lady.
She's not talking about the diseases of age, not the terrible diagnoses no one want to hear. She's talking about the minor irritations - things like fingers too dry to turn book pages, eye floaters, tinnitus, chin wiskers (women), toad spots, short-term memory lapses – for which there is no useful remedy.
Do all these things (and others) happen to all old people? Probably not, but Crabby is pretty sure most of us have our own collection of daily irritations which we can't do much about.
The other day, TGB reader Richard Lombard sent Crabby this email:
”When I saw Tylenol thought Tyvek. Today while watching the crawl on a news show, Tropical Storm Julia drenches Florida...I read Tropical Storm Judi Dench. I could not understand what Dame Judi was doing in Florida.”
“Julia drenches” becomes “Judi Dench.”
Of course it does. It makes perfect sense to Crabby. She's been making similar mis-readings now and then for quite awhile, in books, magazines, online, pretty much anywhere there are words.
It is not uncommon for something like “free checking” to become “free chicken” in Crabby Old Lady's reading, but it is usually enough out of context that she goes back to re-read the sentence and find her error, as Richard obviously did.
Sometimes the mis-readings are funny but Crabby also wonders how often she doesn't catch the error and winds up believing something that is not so.
As far as Crabby can tell (that's a big question), this doesn't happen often. Much more frequently, she types these kinds of mistakes. She knows the word she wants and believes she has typed it and then when she proofs a blog post, there's a weird word where it doesn't belong.
Something like, from the immediately preceding sentence, “...believes she has tripped it and then...”
There is usually some connection between the word Crabby wants and what she types – perhaps that each begins with the same letter. And they usually have the same number of syllables. Verb errors are usually in the desired tense.
Unlike reading errors, typing errors occur several times in one story or email. Yes, email too. It has been many months since Crabby has sent an email, however short, without proofing it and just as often as not, there is this kind of error.
A blog story is much worse than email, usually half a dozen such mistakes and it happens so often that Crabby knows she cannot post anything without two and even three proof readings to catch the errors.
Sometimes Crabby misses them until they've been posted so undoubtedly some of you have seen these along with more usual sorts of typo she doesn't catch. Of course, Crabby has always made typos but nothing to this degree or this kind – substituting similar-looking words that more often than not have no meaningful relationship to what she intends.
Crabby Old Lady is not concerned that these errors are signs of any serious brain problem (yet) but she is really crabby about adding one more irritation to the growing list of old-age related annoyances.
It is a bit of comfort knowing that it happens to Richard too.