Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Typesetter's Challenge

Sherburne County Star News, frontpage
January 11, 1900
An interesting column published in the Sherburne County Star News emphasizes the challenges of 1920s technology.  This brief statement generates some appreciation for the 21st century ability to communicate: 

"The Star news admits that it occasionally make typographical errors and we are not ashamed of it,” the paper reported.  “Possibly the general public does not know it, but in an ordinary column there are 10,000 pieces of type.  There are 7 possible wrong positions for each letter, 70,000 chances to make errors and millions of possible transpositions.  In the sentence, “To be or not to be,” by transpositions alone 2,759,022 errors can be made.” 

The paper concluded their column with the defiant claim, “No paper is ever without errors and there never will be one.” 

Considering this, spell check on my word processing program makes me appreciate the computer technology more than ever.

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