Los pollitos dicen pío-pío, eternamente
A boy died.
He knew he was dying. He tried to get help. We don’t know if it occurred to him to switch off the modem and make a phone call, or if he was too weak to get up and do it. We know he sent an email.
He didn’t type perfect English at the best of times, and as his life slipped away from him, he misspelled many things. He misspelled “ambulance”. He may have misspelled “diabetes”. That was all fine—the meaning was clear enough—but the bit where it gets tragic is that he misspelled “.net” in the To: line.
So instead of arriving at its destination, the NOC of his employer, where it would have opened up a ticket and been seen by a human at some point, the email bounced.
We will never know whether they could have or would have done anything in time. We will never know if, had whoever been on postmaster duty at his ISP at the time been paying attention, he could have been saved.
These things were debated angrily, by people struggling to make sense of something, but it changes nothing. The email bounced, and he died.