DAFT and deep fat

When I encounter other people’s typos (or notice my own), I try to understand why they’ve occurred, which is sometimes more interesting than the actual typos. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is usually abbreviated as DFAT and pronounced dee-fat. Two recent documents rendered that as DAFT and deep fat. Our legal officers can type documents or dictate them into an auto-transcription tool. Either way, their self-checking is sometimes not totally diligent, which is why my colleagues in the proofreading team have a job. DAFT is a typing error, maybe because people are more used to typing d-a than d-f. (Very possibly, autocorrect would change dfat (lower case) to daft. (In fact, Page for Mac just changed dfat to fat, but as far as I know, upper case strings are left as they are.) deep fat is a voice-to-text transcription error, maybe because the tool hasn’t been trained in Australian government acronyms. No-one ever said “daft” when they really meant “dee-fat”, or typed “deep fat” when they really meant DFAT. 


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