text errors

i'm so excited! forgive me if my fast tyoing leads to a few errors now and again...

iit's official! i'm starting an indepeendent study on typos. a lot of luinguistics research is done on the nature of speech errors, anbd they reveal a lot about the way we store, retrieve, and rpcoscess speech. but it's only recently that typing has become an isntantaneous form of communication. this raisse all kinds of interesting questions about what the nature of our typung errors reveals about those same processes--how is typing differentf rom speech? how si it the same?

i won't be testing a specific hypothesis in my study, partly because there's sso little research available on this tpic right now. i'll just be collecting typing inj a laboratory setting (not just the finished product, but every keystroke using some sort of keylogger software), and trying to categorize the different types of errors epoeple make.

most typos, i assume, will be explainable on the basis of the keyboard's design. that is, most letters that are insterted will probably be near the intended letter on the keyboardd. a lot of metathesis (reversal of two lettres) too, probably. these kinds of things can be explained by the motor processes involved in using the keyobard itselv.

however, what if there are other errors, maybe ones that odn't freqyuently make it into the final text (even in IMs or other informal settings), that couldn't be eexplained by proximity or other motor functions? what if someone swithced a 'b' for a 'p' or typed 'thear' instead of 'there'? these kinds of errors would reveal something really really relaly intersting about the processes we go through before generating text. specifically, we could hypothesize that certain errors would reveal that a phonological (sound) pattern is generated before motor control is initiated; that is, it might demonstrate that we do hear words, in some sense, before typing them.

other errors could shed light on just how motor (i just typed 'mother' there, i swear it!) control is accomplished. for instance, if someone frequently typed 'the' and then deleted the 'e' in words that used 'th' like 'that' or 'this', we might hypothesize that letters are stored and retrieved in 'chunks' of some kind rather than letter-by-letter. or typing 'buutton' for 'button' (typing mistaken double letteres more frequently in words that have actual double letteres) might mean that there is a command for 'type two letters' that is supposed to go with the command 'type a 't',' but gets misaligned.

mayube i'm the only one that maes these kinds of errors... but i think we've all had that mysterious 'why on earth did i type that?' experieince. maybe there are other even more itneresting errors out there!

there's also a lot of research on self-monitoring and repair in speech--what errors do we catch ourselves making? what errors do we block before we make them? how do we monitor our own speech; do we hear it the way we hear other people's speech? thed same questions cam be casekd about typing, so i'll be looking at which errors people are likely to correct/notice before they push 'send', how long it takes to catch different types of errors, and so on.

lots of big questions!, so don't be surprised if you see more posts on this one!


Seb said...

THat sounds facination, Cristi. I'm exitred mfor you. I agree that it seems lime despite the ---

you know what? I have ahard time stopping myself from hitting the "backspace" putting automatically--thjat must be

holy cow! and I don't even thionk about it, but when I revise a sentence in teh middel of writing it I'm used to going back and deleting large sections. If I try to prevent myself dreom tdoing that I would porbaly get something much more ilke the kinds of broken, self-montioring (grr!)
self-montiored langauge used in sppeech. I would what would have
happen if you compared
allowed people to type as they would normally, then
but tracked when they were oi
going to delete anything they've already wrti
written. Then remove
Then look at the text without the deletions and compare with verbal sppe
Jesus fucking christ.
compare wt
with verbal speech, how we correct ourself
ourselves miud-0UFKCING HELL

this is hopeless. Typing is hard.

On the subject of courses: I keep h
checking MOCHA for course
courses about semiotics/post-structuralism so that I can toy with the idea of taking them, but can't find them anywhere. What gives?

Cristi said...

thanks seb!

yeah, i only left errors in my post that wouldn't interfere too much with legibility... but i even deleted a few of those before i realized what i was doing.

as far as semiotics goes... pretty much any course in the MCM dept will have you reading a lot of theory that is at least based on a few central authors: derrida, foucault, lacan, deleuze, benjamin, adorno (although i'm not sure to what extent 'post-structuralist' applies to all these people). also, you might try the comp lit department... pretty mcuh anything about 'historical fiction' or 'colonial fiction' or 'the body in...' i'm preregistered for CO181-07: Michel Foucault and Comparative Thinking. you might try doing a keyword search for some authors' names, or 'problematics'--that's a dead give away... not sure if mocha has keyword searches.

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