A good reason that one should avoid wordy tattoos and opt for pictorial representation in their skin art is you might not get the words you asked for.
One might reasonably think either the tattoo artist or the living canvas would have recognized that "tonw" is not the same as "town" before it was permanently embedded with ink under his skin, but, in fact, it wasn't until he got home (and after his wife pointed it out) that he realized what his new tattoo said. What I found funny about that was the quote from the tattoo artist regarding the humbling phone call he received hours after the tattoo's completion because it almost seems as though the man wasn't sure it was misspelled - "...she just saw it and she said you spelled it wrong."
Even great spellers have words that give them problems, words that no matter which order you put the letters in, they just don't look right. So, I wouldn't disagree with the guy's statement that he would never call himself a bad speller. It has only been a very recent freedom for me to spell "occasion" and "occasionally" without having to look it up. The thoughts that used to run through my head each and every time: One 'c', two 's's? Maybe two 'c's and one 's'? Or is it two of each? Now, after many (oh, so many) spellcheck corrections and dictionary references, I am confident in my occasional use of the word;>
What really raised my ire about this story...
Ultimately Duplessis had his tattoo altered to say "Chi-Town," though his lawyer says that is not enough.
"It doesn't represent the vision of the permanent tattoo he wanted on his chest for the rest of his life," he said. "So he is not a person who is whole."
If it has been corrected, I don't see a problem. Not a person who is whole? Seriously? I cannot imagine being so intrinsically tied to a city that a tattoo displaying their moniker would be necessary to make me a whole person. Most of my tattoos have no significant meaning, but the one that does is the one on my chest. It represents my children, human beings who will forever embody parts of me, being close to my heart. The tattoo is nothing more than two daisies on a shared tribal-style stem. I love tattoos as much as anyone who's got them, but I never dare put words on my body. I prefer symobolism in my artwork. Words change spellings, morph meanings, and evolve. Tattoos are forever. What happens if people stop referring to Chicago as Chi-Town? What if Chi-Town becomes a derogatory reference for Chicago? What if Chicago changes names? (That last one's a stretch, but it could happen.) What will his tattoo mean then? In my opinion, a representation of what he admires and adores about Chicago, or Chi-Town, would have been a better tattoo choice. The people of Chicago who have embraced "Chi-Tonw" are aware that tattoos are a matter of the art and often what the art means to the individual, not the words or letters themselves.