I hope I’m not alone in suffering from Freudian typos. Unlike normal typos, these typos are the kind that make you wonder about your mental health. Case in point: I sometimes accidentally type “lust” instead of “list.” It’s a simple mistake – U and I are right next to each other on the keyboard – but it makes you wonder if I need to get out a little more.
My worst Freudian Typo was one that made it into the help file for the very first version of HomeSite. In a section about trouble-shooting, I recommended that users “Shut down their computer” if they experience problems. But I made a little mistake. Yep, you guessed it – I ended up asking people to “Shit down their computer” instead.
Even more embarrassing was the fact that this mistake was reported to me several months later by an acquaintance at Microsoft. Now any time I want to complain about Microsoft’s security woes, I remember how I once instructed my customers to soil their computer’s innards, which has security implications beyond those that Microsoft has to deal with.