the myth of the thief step

I've heard about the "thief step" again from someone fairly official.  This bullshit has to stop!!  I've built, rebuilt and fixed countless stairways in my career as a carpenter and I've seen most all the ways you can screw up a set of stairs.  When i moved to boston 35 yrs ago I first heard about the thief step and thought then, what an novel excuse to not have to fix a screwed up set of stairs.  Carpenters are notorious for not wanting to fix their own screw ups, and this explanation, if it's accepted, lets them off the hook.  Fixing a set of stringers that have been laid out wrong requires a lot of labor and they never come out right.  Cut a new set and you run the risk of making the mistake again if you don't understand what went wrong in the first place.  I bailed a guy out once (he shall remain anonymous) after he had cut 3 sets of stringers that ended up in the dumpster.  

    Nobody in the family remembers where the wrong riser is in a set of stairs.  They may remember that the stairs are "trippers" and raise their feet  up higher for EVERY step but if you're carrying a load of laundry and you forget.... building code states that all risers can only be +/- 1/8 of an inch.  So, Peter Hotton of the Boston Globe, in particular, hold carpenters to a higher standard.  You won't need to be as scared of THAT one bad thing   happening when your grandmother comes to visit.