Prounced balls

In writing to friends about my posting on Harry Baals, I repeatedly wrote

Baals prounced balls

with PROUNCED for PRONOUNCED, an omission error in which I “skip ahead” from the first O in PRONOUNCE to the material following the second (leaving out NO). This particular typo — using typo for inadvertent spelling errors in handwriting as well as typing — has plagued me for years; I have to think carefully about spelling PRONOUNCE.

The effect of skipping ahead is to telescope the spelling of an expression. I’m prone to telescoping, for instance GAY MALE telescoped to GALE (in typing, 11/9/09) and GAY PORN telescoped to GORN (in handwriting, 1/10/11).

Then there’s the case of WITHE for WITH THE, which I reported on on Language Log in 2008.


2 Responses to “Prounced balls

  1. Frans Says:

    I’m far more prone to typos while handwriting than while typing, but that consists mostly of writing parts of letters that shouldn’t be there. For instance when I started writing English I would always put dots on the y before I even realized I’d done so (I wonder if more Dutch people have/had that problem). Sometimes I extend an a into a g, or add letters that shouldn’t be there (like a g behind an n). The worst part is that I’ll cross it out and repeat the exact same mistake again. When typing I’m almost the opposite. I don’t need to see the result of what I typed to be aware of typos, I just feel that I accidentally pressed the wrong key and I correct the mistake, often before I’m even really aware of there having been one in the first place.

  2. Writing errors « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] There are at least two ways (by no means incompatible with one another; errors can have several mechanisms contributing to them) this could have arisen: (a) as a “skipping ahead” or “skip-ahead” error, as in my PROUNCED for PRONOUNCED (discussed here); […]

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