When in doubt, always choose C

The spring semester just came to an end, and I spent all five months just waiting to find a typo in one of my textbooks. Textbook typos are my favorite; it’s so ironic to see spelling and grammar errors in books that are used to teach things, is it not?

Well, I didn’t find any typos per se. However, at the end of each chapter in my macroeconomics textbook was a set of review questions, and in one particular chapter I stumbled upon an interesting multiple choice question. Pay close attention to options A and D (you may have to click the pic to enlarge):

Did you catch that? They were the exact same answer! They might as well have done this:

What color is the sky?
1. Blue
2. Brown
3. Green
4. Blue

So, I was entertained. It’s not a grammar error, but it is an editing error and I found it pretty funny. Doh!

[Source: Exploring Economics by Robert L. Sexton]


Cooking up some scrambled words

I was flipping through a cookbook today, looking for a little inspiration. Not only did I find something delicious to make, but I found a recipe that called for “Salt fro cooking the pasta”:

It doesn’t get any better (or worse) than this

A couple of months ago I made a post after a friend sent me pictures of multiple typos she was finding while reading Stephen King’s The Stand. As it turns out, there were so many throughout the novel that she sent the book to me and suggested I read it and highlight the typos as I found them. When the book arrived in the mail, I got straight to work. Keep reading, I’ll eventually tell you how many mistakes I found.

I can’t refrain from mentioning the first typo can be found in the PREFACE of the novel. Sad.

I found countless typos scattered throughout the text, like “idca” and “kow,” but I also found a plethora of other errors: missing quotation marks (I can’t tell you how many times I thought a character was still speaking when, in actuality, the narrator had taken over) and other punctuation, improper plural agreement (“two woman,” for instance), and even the misspelling of a celebrity’s name (“Alex Trebeck,” although the Jeopardy host’s name does not have a c in it). What I’m trying to say is, this book is grammatical suicide.

What amazed me more than anything is that the editor didn’t catch that two of the characters’ names were each spelled two different ways at various points in the text. Rita Blakemoor was sometimes Rita Blakemore, and Mother Abagail was sometimes Mother Abigail. Oh, and here’s my proof:

I challenge anyone to find more typos and grammatical mistakes in a published novel than I found in this one (tisk tisk, Signet Publishing). And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings me to my final error count: 48. Forty-eight mistakes in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax. The part that makes me sick is someone was paid to edit the darn book. I won’t claim to be perfect by saying my count is 100% accurate; but I will claim with absolute certainty that, had I been in charge of editing the novel, I would not have overlooked that insane number of errors.

On the bright side, the story is excellent. I highly recommend it!

The King of typos

A friend, who recently read a copy of The Stand by Stephen King, found these typos for me (all in the same book, I kid you not!!!).

Typo #1: How do you fail to realize you misspelled “realize”?

Typo #2: “Tme.” I’ll give you a hint: it’s supposed to say “true.”

Typo #3: My absolute favorite: how stupid do you have to be to misspell the word “stupidly”?

M, N…what’s the difference, really?

I don’t have any wisecracks about this mistake, which is just your typical book typo (this one is from Bill Bryson’s Neither Here Nor There). I’m simply baffled by how the most obvious things go unnoticed. Take a look at the 8th line from the top, where the “n” in the word “costing” has been mistakenly replaced with an “m”.

The girls’ guide to finding an editor who knows how to edit

I found this while reading The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing. I’ve read this sentence over and over…and over…and I still can’t figure out what it is actually supposed to be saying. I’m talking about four lines up from the bottom:

“. . .it was an on the same”? Right. *Hope continues to scratch her head in contemplation*

[Source: Bank, Melissa. (1999). The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing. New York, NY: Penguin Books.]

The “acception” to the except/accept rule?

Book typos happen. Sometimes, if you look hard enough, you can find that missing period or apostrophe or that lowercase letter that should have been capitalized. Those are, although annoying, understandable.

Recently I picked up a copy of the book Schooled by Anisha Lakhani and found a mistake so awful I have to wonder if the publishing company has children proofreading their material.

The offending sentence is in the middle of the page: “And when did faux mitzvah enter everyone’s vocabulary accept mine?” ACCEPT? Seriously?


The worst part about this one is that the accept/except rule is one of the most BASIC rules of grammar. It fits into the same category as their/there/they’re, its/it’s, to/too/two, etc. How can a book editor overlook something like this? Sheesh.

[Source: Lakhani, Anisha. (2008). Schooled. New York, NY: Hyperion.]