• June 26, 2013


Many Minnesota Litigator readers probably enjoyed a fleeting feeling of superiority and, maybe, a frisson of pity, as well, in reading the “subject line” of this post, noting that it appears to mispell “waiver” and “tortious.”

(Yes, I know I misspelled misspell.  Its a multilawyered pun cake.)

One of the unpleasant downsides of writing on deadlines, as all lawyers, writers, and bloggers do, is the inevitability of typographical (or, worse, grammatical!) writing errors.  On the other hand, how much do they really matter?

I am interested in the question of the clinically tested effect or impact of typographical and/or grammatical errors on decision-making.  I wonder how much judicial decision-making is affected, if at all, and therefore I wonder how much clients or law firms should care about such errors (and how much they should invest or pay to avoid them).  (Dan Ariely, please attend to this. I do not have time and I happen to know that you sit around doing nothing (except the most brilliant work in psychology and behavioral economics)).

(Finally, do you wonder why it is so very common to see lawyers misspelling “tortious” and uncommon to see them misspell “waiver”?  Answer:  Microsoft’s auto-correct has been known to fail to recognize “tortious” as a word and, therefore, to “reverse auto-correct” to “tortuous.”  (By the way, if you have not been to “Damn You Autocorrect,” which is not safe for work (NSFW), you might consider it for a laugh or two.)

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