You may or may not have seen my post at Punctuality Rules Tuesday, about a book I recently bought that had the actual TITLE misspelled on the spine of the book. A glaring typographical error that really (really!) should have been caught. So, using that as a springboard, today’s question: What’s the worst typographical error you’ve ever found in (or on) a book?
I have two huge pet peeves that sometimes make it into published books: using “loose” for “lose” and “phased” for “fazed.” But these aren’t exactly typographical errors–they’re spelling errors that should have been caught. As far as typos are concerned (missing letters and the like), I actually think they’re kind of cool, a reminder of the human hands that the book I’m reading has passed through on its way to me. I’ve never seen anything as horrific as a title misspelled. That’s insanity!
I did some copy editing at an old job and absolutely hated it. Unfortunately, I was the only one qualified to do it, mainly because I was the only one who noticed the errors! I’ve always been good at spelling and grammar (and thanks to Cranium I learned that I am good at spelling backwards, too). Even though I read quickly, I am always stopped dead by typos and misspellings and errors. And when I was responsible for making people fix them they made me insane. I can be very, very detail oriented when I need to be, and that was not always endearing to my colleagues.
There is one spelling thing that’s making me crazy right now, though it’s not in a book, it’s on TV. There’s a character on “The Real World” named Shauvon. Now, if I was reading that name in a book I would assume it was pronounced Shaw’-von, wouldn’t you? But it’s not. It’s pronounced like Shavonne, or Siobhan if wanna get all Gaelic up in here. I am not saying that people can’t give their kids creatively spelled names… or at least I have accepted the fact that I can’t do anything to make it stop (Madysin, Jazzmyn, etc). But the spelling should at least WORK, don’t you think?
Last night’s work read was a manuscript that featured no typos.