6.08.2006

Holy cat'ostrophe!

Suddenly, those typos in your query letter aren't quite so...humiliating.

I mean, you could have been the person responsible for...this.


(thanks to Kitty for the linkage!)

27 comments:

theinadvertentauthor said...

Just last night I was musing over what appeared to be an entire page of text missing from the "Nanny Diaries", thinking how commonplace it has become to find typos etc, but a whole page!
Well, I guess there is something that trumps a missing page! YIKES!!!

Anonymous said...

Someone left their blue pencil home.

How many people look at a cover before it's approved? From editorial to marketing? Jeesh.

unbelieveit said...

I don't think that beats Harlequin's release of Urban Legend by Erica Orloff. The title on the spine read Urgan Legend.

Anonymous said...

I love Lynn Truss's author photo at the back of "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves".

She's seen with marker in hand, applying an apostrophe to a movie poster of "Two Weeks (sic) Notice".

McKoala said...

Love it!

Saw an ad for a house yesterday that the writer claimed was 'impresive'. It might have been even more so had he/she spelt it correctly.

The Rentable Writer said...

Ouch! Just seeing that makes me hurt.

Lisa Hunter said...

Could be worse. There's the notorious anniversary issue of Ms. Magazine that misspelled the word "Feminism" on the cover, in 30 point type.

My favorite type-o, though, is in a rare-book known as "The Naughty Bible." A collector's item, it's just like the King James version of the Bible, only the typesetter inadvertently left out the word "not" in the commandment about adultery.

S. W. Vaughn said...

The sad part of this is that many readers won't even notice the typo. I mean, it's not like we actually have to learn proper English and grammar these days. They aren't rules. They're more like... guidelines.

The Rentable Writer said...

On the subtitles for a talk show (cough-DR.PHIL,yesIwatchedDR.PHIlandHATEDit-cough) the word 'embarrassed' was spelled 'embarassed.'

Stephen said...

Many years ago I found that my local library was carrying a book by Isaac Azimov whose spine claimed it to be Through a Glass Clealy, and right in front of me I have a CD by 70s British art rockers 10cc, whose spine claims that it is called The Origunal Soundtrack (great album, as it happens).

slobbit said...

The irony is whose quote it is! Not like it's the generic Publishers' Weekly. I bet Kakutani is not very pleased about that.

Janny said...

My favorite typo came out years ago in a local newspaper advertising an orchestra concert...instead of the Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, the orchestra was slated to play the
"Erotica" Symphony. I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or just snort coffee through my nose. (I think I did all three.)

On the other hand, they probably had a full house for that one!


Janny

Inkwolf said...

I brought up the apostrophe phenomenon before in the comments section. More and more people seem to think you use an apostrophe in possessives.

This may not be so much an actual typo, but a case of the person who threw it on there at the last second thinking it was correct grammar.

In fact, the library where I work has two children's videos on the shelf...one is called Puppy's and the other called Kitty's. And I see the apostrophed possessive more and more on he internet.

I think it may actually be an evolution--or, rather, a mutation-- of the language. And you thought X-Men wasn't literary!

Patrick Stewart: "Evolution...over time it changes our definitions and shapes our language. But every too often, evolution takes a giant step backward!"

a graphic designer said...

My two favorite typos-

A brochure from a copywriter touting his "profreading" capabilities.

The title on a rack brochure at my bank asking you to consider opening a new account, and the word account was missing the "o".

Ken Boy said...

Inkwolf, I've always used apostrophes in "possessives". Even in "plural possessives". Thanks for setting me straight. ;)

Molly said...

I'd be more worried if I were Alex Irvine and the publisher decided to use a quote from the recent Locus review of Retro-Pulp Tales which contains contains Irvine's story:

Alex Irvine's "New Game in Town" is an exquisite story of small-time crooks and poo hustlers that takes a sharp turn into uncanny SF.

Via Uncertain Principles

Inkwolf said...

Ummm...of course, I meant the apostrophe used for PLURALS in my little rant up there...

Ken Boy said...

Oh, yes, "of course", Inkwolf. We should have known that you didn't say what you meant, so you didn't mean what you said.

Don't worry, I take only pleasure from mistaken usages in rants against mistaken usages. In a comment thread to a post about poor proofreading.

So many levels of irony. I'll be smiling all day.

Nightfahl said...

I never knew how anal I was about typos in the books I read until I recently read a book that had an average of one per chapter. Two of which included mispelling the name of one of the main characters. Same character, two different misspellings. And most of them were strange typos, such as 'arid' instead of 'and'...as though the typsetter couldnt read the author's hand writing or something. Really pulls you out of the story. Fortunately the book/story itself was very good and I could fall back in...but yeesh.

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little said...

Busses run advertisements on their sides, and when no advertiser has taken out a spot, the advertisement is for the efficacy of taking out a spot. You've probably seen the like. Well, one of those placeholder advertisement seen riding around on Boulder busses for the past year or so is a simple picture of a fish, a hook, and the words...

Caught 'ya!

I hurt, physically, every time one of those goes by.

(Coincidentally, today's word verification, "oiyyyn", sounds a lot like the sound I make when I see that thrice-damned advertisement.)

Just Me said...

I once proofread the cover for a book 'by' a Z-list celebrity who had managed to make every single person in the publishing house hate her guts within five minutes of walking through the door.

When I got it, the caption under the author shot said, 'Jane Doe is a well-known pubic figure who blah blah blah...'

I corrected it...but it took a serious inner struggle.

Inkwolf said...

I'd tell you to get stuffed, ken boy, but I'm now too terrified of making a typographical error to do so. :p

Termagant 2 said...

Now, see, color me dumb--I didn't even know Beethoven was into kinky music.

One of my (grrrr) favorites is when my 5th grader brings home missives from the school administration loaded with misspellings, misplaced apostrophes, bad plurals, the lot. And these are the folks trying to teach my kid the English language-! They have bachelors', masters', some are even PhDs - pronounced FUDS, folks.

And, I have to confess, in typing this little rant, I made 3 typos.

T2

Bonnie said...

My favorite: they can't decide whether to use "its" or "it's" so they just decide to create some new evil thing.

its'

*shudder*

Make them stop.

Anonymous said...

Termagant 2--My dd brings home those kind of notes, usually complaining about her "bad" behavior. I "edit" them in red ink and send them back. :-)

Most of her teachers speak English as a second language, so it's not too surprising to see mistakes. Disheartening, but not surprising.

But it galls me most when her teachers correct her (correct) pronunciation--words like "Topeka," which they insist on pronouncing "Topecka" and "papyrus," which they pronounce with the accent on "pap" and with a short i sound for the y syllable.

Then there are those humbling experiences. On one occasion, I decided to write a short letter to the editor of our local newspaper (a man who also speaks and writes English as a second language) about the constant use of the word "over-speeding" to describe the contributing cause of some fatal car accident. To my surprise, the word "over-speeding" appears in my beloved and trusted dictionary. Sounds redundant to me, but it is apparently a legitimate word.

elizabeth said...

My all-time favorite typo -

Headline for full-page newspaper ad for a major department store's Labor Day sale complete with photo of dapper young men wearing crisply starched shirts, Italian ties and dress pants: "All Sh*ts on Sale"

(Hint: the missing letter wasn't the "i")

pjd said...

Nicole's comment reminded me of a lovely bit I saw in Southwest Airline's onboard magazine (Spirit) recently. They began their three-page spread on Oakland, CA with this note:

Not only is the formerly undamned tidal marsh now known as Lake Merritt the largest urban saltwater lake in the United States, it is also the country's first wildlife sanctuary.

Having been to Oakland many times, I am not entirely certain the sixth word is misspelled, but my hunch is that it should be "undammed" instead.