The letters H and J are next to each other on my computer keyboard. So that a sign-off to my friend – normally “Big hugs” – became “Big jugs”, a thing neither of us can claim to possess, but a typing mistake I can easily understand.
But how does one explain “Best fishes”?
It’s not as if the W and the F are next-door neighbours. The letter F is in the middle row of the keyboard, the letter W is at the extreme left of the top row of letters. And yet, there I am, signing off my email notes with:
“My best fishes,
When did “wishes” become “fishes”?
I noticed last fall that “Autumn” became “Auturmn”.
Then there’s “The United States”, which has recently become “The Untied States”. That’s probably from a subconscious worry about the divisions in our neighbouring country.
More embarrassing, “Public” is sometimes “Pubic”. As far as I know, however, I’ve always caught that one before hitting “Send”.
But “My best fishes” has nearly escaped, unedited, several times now. Don’t ask me why, but it’s even lodged in my mind this unfortunate soundtrack — badly adapted from one of my mother’s sayings, no doubt — “If wishes were fishes, all beggars would dine…”
One has to be so vigilant these days. If it’s not your typing, it’s Spellcheck.
My best wishes and fishes,