Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Blogger Josh Bernoff has discovered the meaning of the word "covfefe" in the president's famous and now-deleted Tweet.

"Here’s what the word 'covfefe' means: It means 'I am a crazy person,'" Bernoff says.

"This president is not a master manipulator of media. He is a wacko with little grasp of reality that says the first thing that comes into his mind. That is the meaning of 'covfefe.' It’s a variant of 'crazy.'"

Many critics of the president have reached a similar conclusion.

But do typos imply the writer is dotty? Or are they, as sociologists argue, joyful centerpieces of digital writing?

"Digital writing is inherently playful, first of all, because the medium, the computer, invites participants to 'fiddle,' and to invoke the frame of 'make-believe,'” says Brenda Danet. 

"When this frame is operating, participants understand and accept the meta-message 'this is play.'”

Digital writing's hallmarks, Danet says, are four: haste, ephemerality, interactivity, and freedom from the "tyranny" of paper. In essence, digital writing is just like kibitzing, a stream-of-conscious game people play. There, like lots of nonsense, typos are the rule.
So do typos ever matter?

They do, in my book, when they riddle public-facing communications, because they open you to ridicule.

Ridiculous people (and brands) aren't merely hacks: they're clowns. 

And clowns aren't trustworthy. 

Clowns can even be scary. 

Or covfefe, if you prefer.

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