Professor Danielle Allen asserts that a typo in the first printed copy of the Declaration of Independence distorts the document’s meaning because some more recent copies often take their text from the flawed printing. In a new video filmed at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival, Dr. Allen explains that the famous words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” should be followed by a dash, not a period and a dash. The dash links the words closely to the rest of the sentence, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” The text emphasizes the connection of the inalienable rights to the governments that protect them. Thus, the inalienable rights do not stand alone.
Topics for discussion might include how typos can impact texts. Students could find on the Internet other examples of famous typos and their consequences.
New York Times’s Op-Ed writer Bret Stephens offers tips for aspiring Op-Ed that he’s learned over the years as an editor, op-ed writer and columnist. He begins with this one:
“1) A wise editor once observed that the easiest decision a reader can make is to stop reading. This means that every sentence has to count in grabbing the reader’s attention, starting with the first. Get to the point: Why does your topic matter? Why should it matter today? And why should the reader care what you, of all people, have to say about it?”
These suggestions may be useful for writing Activity 5.7 • Write an Op-Ed Argument on page 171 in Praxis 3e.
For 14 more tips, see Stephens’s essay at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/opinion/tips-for-aspiring-op-ed-writers.html?mcubz=0&_r=0
￼This tote’s designers may have intended to say, “My Favorite Color is Glitter,” but their poor font choice conflated the “G” of glitter with the “L,” turning their design into a statement that most would read as “My Favorite color is Hitler.” A simple change of font would have solved the problem. The bag’s image
went viral on Twitter, with people offering comments like these:
“How did the designers Nazi that.”
“Waking up to see the führer this tweet has created”