Muphry's Law

AS mny of you know, I kan't spel good sumtimes.

However, I've learned to use the Google Toolbar spellchecker (and the Word spellchecker, when I'm in there) and now most of the time my misspellings are more of the "properly spelled wrong word" variety. You know, typing "it it" instead of "it is" or my most infamous mistake, which, no matter how hard I try, I seem to consistently use wrongly: "its" vs "it's" vs "its'"

This is a bit of a Yak Shaving day for me, as I was reading a post by Rebecca over at SEOMoz and it led me to another post which led me to another with this wonderful term in it: "Muphry's Law" (no, not "Murphy's Law", that's something related but different).

Muphry's Law dictates that (a) if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written; (b) if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book; (c) the stronger the sentiment expressed in (a) and (b), the greater the fault; (d) any book devoted to editing or style will be internally inconsistent.

In short, people wielding the sword of editorial righteousness tend to cut themselves with it. I've noticed this myself, and think it's really funny, especially since I'm almost always in the "spelling correctee" camp...

On a related note, there is another word I like: incorrection, or a correction that itself is incorrect. I used to get this all the time in legal discussions. I'd say something was X, then someone who'd obviously learned about the law watching the Jerry Springer show "corrects" me with a really stupid definition/usage. My favorite part is when they do this with that look on their face that says they pity me for being so stupid...

Anyway, this whole thing reminded me of misspellings and such, so I thought I'd through together some interesting references:

Of course, not all misspellings are bad - you can do very well for yourself as a marketer if you bid on, SEO for, and register domains with, misspellings. Here are some tools and resources for this:

Other Hints

  1. If you bid on typos in PPC, make sure you put them into their own Adgroup and then remove the DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) in your ads for that group - otherwise you look illiterate.
  2. Testimonials, ALT attributes, the keyword metatag (for Yahoo and MSN, not Google), filenames (ie misspelling.htm), image names (misspelling.jpg), and incoming anchor text from a "misspelling glossary" on your site, or from other sites are all great ways to show up for misspellings in organic SEO.
  3. For non-English languages, always include the spelling of words without special characters - if the word is "Montréal" or "piñata", then also optimize for "Montreal" or "pinata" - some people are using a US style keyboard, and find it easier to type without special characters, even if they know the language perfectly. They are used to Google helping them and giving them good results even though it's not perfectly spelled. You want to be one of those good results.
  4. For English, don't forget "s" and "z" transpositions between the US and UK spellings - ie "optimize" vs "optimise".


PS: I'm well aware that since this is a post about spelling and I'm a lousy speller, I'm a prime candidate for Muphry's Law. So I've short-circuited the problem by deliberately leaving in some errors and announcing that I've done so. Let's see the damn Law deal with THAT... ;)

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