Monday, April 26, 2010

Phonetic Typing Errors

The zdrankezd dhing habbenet earlier dotay.

What, exactly, is wrong with this sentence?

Here is a hint: It should read, "The strangest thing happened earlier today."

For some odd reason, I kept hitting the wrong keys while typing.

After about a half an hour, I finally noticed that the majority of my typos were the exchange of voiced for voiceless consonants and vice-versa.

Though the International Phonetic Alphabet represents sounds not letters, many of the symbols for sounds are the same as letters from the alphabet.

Because most of the counterpart phonemes are not close to each other on the keyboard, I have no explanation as to why this would have happened other than the fact that I have been reviewing the IPA with my class this week.

Picture credit to


James Davis said...

That is strange indeed.

Oddly enough,
strangest thing happened -> "stɹen.d͡ʒɛst ðɪŋ æpnt" (for me, at least)

that doesn't really explain many of the voiced/unvoiced changes in "zdrankezd dhing habbenet"

Do you have an IPA keyboard layout or something similar that might be running interference on your typing?


To make it weirder, I often do this verbally just for fun, pronouncing, say, perishable as bɛ˞.ɪʒ.əpl.

It's amusing to see people blink in confusion when I do that.

Laura Payne said...

Hi James,

I do not have an IPA keyboard; if I did and I was typing a transcription of my speech, it would be very close to your version.

Thanks for commenting and I love that you exchange voiced and voiceless consonants for fun in speech.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I've long noticed that when I get tired, I tend to exchange voiced/unvoiced phonemes/graphemes in my typing.

And I KNOW I'm tired if I write "of" as "ove".

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