Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The trouble with typos

The past several work days have been spent dealing with an edited manuscript, one I sent off to my publisher thinking that it was a near perfect as anything I send out can be. It came back with not a heck of a lot of changes, but there were some rather disheartening typos among them. While it was discouraging that I just hadn’t seen them, but I’m at the same time glad that someone did spot them. Two, especially, would have been very embarrassing had they seen print.

Typographical errors are something with which every writer has to deal. They happen. We don’t see them, and have to rely on those with “fresh eyes” to ferret them out for us. Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t happen. The results can be unintentionally hilarious – for those reading them, not for the poor author.

My worst one was a novel of mine that got to the blueline stage (remember those?) and had someone wearing a “fir coat”. I only just caught it as I made a second pass on the bluelines. Let me tell you, that would have been some embarrassing had it wound up in the published book. I also have a writer friend whose egregious error did, unfortunately, see the light of day. His protagonist was kicked between the legs in a confrontation – something exceptionally cringeworthy for any male reader – and immediately fell to the ground and curled up into “the coital position”. I don’t know about you, but the mental image is unintentionally absolutely hilarious. Since the poor author is a friend, I’m not about to give out his name here, but I am certain he winces anytime this story is brought up.

Because of its very speedy production, print media is the champion at producing typos. Sometimes they can cause real harm and a fevered apology in order to avoid legal action, but often they are weird or can be downright hilarious.

I received the following images of typos or very poor word choices from headlines that were actually printed in papers and wanted to share them with you all here. Read ’em and weep – but they will be tears resulting from laughing out loud, I assure you. Special thanks to my good friend Pam for sending me these. Enjoy!


Charlotte Hinger said...

I needed a good laugh. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the grin on my face. I needed that today. I especially liked the bugs and hospitals. :)

Rick Blechta said...

My favorite was the Princess Diana one. A close second was the homicide victims one.