Monday, August 27, 2012

Material Wittiness

I was asked to read something very serious and important recently, so I took on the task with gusto and started paging through the document.  At one point, despite the serious content, I found myself chuckling, for spell check or something had substituted a word, giving the sentence an entirely different -- and incorrect -- meaning.  Rather than say "material witness," it read "material wittiness."   There was really nothing witty about the material I was reading.  However, the harder I tried to stop thinking about it, the harder I laughed.  On another occasion recently, I saw how two letters transposed changed the context of a sentence.  Instead of "sacred," the word was "scared"!  Again, I started to chuckle, trying to associate the two words and recognizing how profound such a small mistake could be.   Perhaps the lesson in all of this for me is not to take things quite so seriously.  Once in a while, it pays to find something witty, no matter how serious the material may be.

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