I spotted the error as soon as my system pinged to tell me that the email had gone. I looked at it once and thought: "Oh, no." Then I looked at it again and thought: "Maybe people will just think I'm saying something complicated." Then I looked at it again and thought: "But it changes the whole meaning of the email." And then people started to email me. 

So here, with my apologies for the typo, is the correct version of this morning's email, which is basically just the same as the incorrect version, with just one different letter.

Doing the laundry is a peculiarly intimate thing. So if I ever come to stay at your house, I most likely wouldn’t ask you to wash my clothing, I’ll seal it up in the little canvas drawstring bag I use for such purposes and take it home with me, to wash later.

But if I was staying a hotel, I may not be quite so shy. I’d happily send my clobber off to be cleaned, and look forward to having it ironed and folded, awaiting me on my return to the room. This is because I have no connection with the person who is doing the cleaning, I’m alienated from them. Effectively they’re more or less like a machine to me. Which is sad, when you come to think about it.

The word robot comes from a Czech term meaning ‘forced labour’, and when we come to unthinkingly rely on others to ‘do our dirty work’ they can become like robots to us, or slaves, which is what forced labour means. It can be chilling to consider how many people in our lives are more or less like machines, like slaves. Which is why we should take every opportunity to rehumanise our relationships, to treat others as we would wish to be treated ourselves.
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