The Great Typo Hunt

The Great Typo Hunt

great typo hunt book

“This pair of kooks, with their high standards and principled civil disobedience, give me hope for the future of humanity.”
—Steven Pinker, Harvard College professor, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct and The Stuff of Thought

My first book was a nonfiction travel adventure called The Great Typo Hunt:  Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time. I wrote it with my friend and colleague Benjamin D. Herson.

More About the Book

The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time, by Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson, tells the story of an epic journey across the U.S. to fix typos in public signage. Crown unleashed this nonfiction book upon the world on August 3, 2010.

The Great Typo Hunt is a humorous, insightful tale of adventure, misplaced apostrophes, and the open road. It describes how we took a two-and-a-half month drive around the United States to fix typos in public signage, toting an arsenal of typo correction that included markers, Wite-Out, and chalk—and how we were later summoned to federal court for defacing a historic sign at the Grand Canyon.

Besides detailing the comical adventures of typo correcting, the book shows how the pursuit of typos led us to broader social issues, such as cultural homogenization, race relations, workplace repression, and education. There have been books about spelling and grammatical errors, and there have been books about quixotic road trips, but ours is the first to combine the two—not to mention the first book about fixing typos rather than complaining about them.

Anyone who’s ever been annoyed or frustrated by a typo will enjoy this book. Editors, teachers, educational administrators, librarians, and writers will especially relate to the tale; the many amateur grammarians from other walks of life will also gravitate to The Great Typo Hunt (we heard from plenty during the trip!). If you enjoy adventurous exploits with plenty of grammatical swashbuckling, our book is for you!

Praise for The Great Typo Hunt (Crown)

“A testament to the fact that typos matter, especially when you look behind them.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This pair of kooks, with their high standards and principled civil disobedience, give me hope for the future of humanity.”
—Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct and The Stuff of Thought

The Great Typo Hunt is more fun than a couple of copy editors after a tank of laughing gas.  With sly humor and pitch-perfect tone, Jeff & Benjamin take us on a hilarious ride in a ’97 Sentra around the U.S.A. in search of malapropisms and misprints on everything from menus to marquees, bumpers to billboards.  It’s a spell-checker’s On the Road, a Strunk & White Odyssey, a charming Travels with My Dictionary with two young men who start as linguists and end as friends.”
—Michael Malone, author of Handling Sin and The Four Corners of the Sky

“In this seriously funny–and seriously thoughtful–book, a simple typo hunt becomes something more: an investigation into the deeper mysteries of orthographical fallibility. To err is human; to correct, divine!”
—Patricia T. O’Conner, author of Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English

“Only Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson could make the complete decline of the English language so entertaining. It’s heartening to accompany these two young men on their quixotic quest to identify and rehabilitate the typos, spellos, and prepostrophes that threaten to bring down civilization as we know it.”
Richard Lederer, author of Anguished English

“The Great Typo Hunt is an interesting cross-country peregrination, like the last generation’s Blue Highways but with a higher purpose — warning America that THERE ARE TYOPS EVERYWHERE!”
Joe Haldeman, author of The Forever War

“Who would have thought that a hunt for typos could be such a compelling read! Jeff and Benjamin have brilliantly combined the exploratory curiosity of the travel writer, the human interest of the story-teller, and the explanatory detail of the language specialist into an original, humorous, and engaging narrative. Anyone interested in language standards, attitudes, and education should read this enticing book.”
David Crystal, author of Just a Phrase I’m Going Through and By Hook or By Crook: A Journey in Search of English

“A funny and obsessive adventure that any language lover will appreciate.”
—David Wolman, author of Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling

“My apotheosis as a copyeditor.”
—Our copy editor

Praise for our 2008 typo-hunting blog

“…a satisfying, witty read for copy editors and spelling bee champions everywhere.”  — New Hampshire Public Radio

“…a brilliantly humorous blog … It had my fiancee, a copy editor at a daily newspaper, laughing at two in the morning.” — Next American City

“…amusing — indeed, vexingly addictive…” — The Guardian (UK)

“…an entertaining blog…” — Seattle Times

“The charm of his blog is the reaction strangers have when they are confronted with his ‘just and noble cause of typo-slaying.’” — Nashua Telegraph

“Über ihren täglichen Fortschritt informieren sie in ihrem eigenen Blog.” — Tagesschau (Germany)