On the serendipitous nature of idiosyncratic typo’s

81eEpttzBfL._SL1500_To err is not only human, it is absolutely crucial in the development of new ideas. No, I’m not referring to that obnoxiously necessary but tedious practice known as ‘trial-and-error’ according to which you do something, you fail and next time you do it better (or not and fail again). I am referring to the altogether more elegant notion of serendipitous erring when you make a mistake or do something rather stupid, but the outcome is unexpectedly and unfairly pleasant. Such as when yesterday when I was writing something, I typed ‘idiosyncretic’ instead of ‘idiosyncratic.’ It was late at night, so it took me a while to figure out what I had done wrong. Then I realized I liked the mistake: it speaks of a very personal notion of syncretism. This was the word I should have used when I was writing my PhD thesis on the formation of plural(-ist) identities in the Koryŏ state or later when I was writing my book. It perfectly captures the notion I was trying to understand: how Koryŏ intellectuals composed their own ideological (religious/intellectual/historiographical/political: I never quite know how to describe it succinctly) world by more or less freely taking from whatever was available for Koryŏ intellectuals at that time. Idiosyncretic indeed. And just now when I was trying to type my newly coined concept (well, at least the word, the concept was there), I mistyped again and typed ‘ideosyncretic.’ Mmmh, ‘ideosyncretism’… I’m getting to like typo’s.

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