Sunday, January 10, 2010

Editing Errors

Not much time to write today as I have a load of editing to do this morning before trekking off to the wilds of Wimbledon for a spot of meat-eating (i.e, burgers with a fellow Canadian expat).

But I wanted to do a quick post in honour of Nicola Morgan's first blog birthday. As you may recall, back in November when my book launched Nicola was kind enough to host me on her blog, talking about my journey to publication on which she had been a tremendous help. I've also used her Pen2Publication service, and I have to say her critique was head and shoulders above other reading services I'd used -- highly recommended!

As I'm engaged in a lot of editing these days (very persnickety details, such as opening hours and admission prices - blergh), I've been thinking about editing errors. You know, those pesky mistakes that just don't get noticed and creep by into publication, mortifying and sometimes highly embarrassing.

One of the worst examples I've seen of this is a PR person describing herself on paper as being 'highly experienced in pubic relations.' Ouch.

What are some editing errors that you've seen (or made, if you dare admit it!)?


24 comments:

The Virtual Victorian said...

Hi Marsha - just came by via Nicola's blog party - congratulations on being published and good luck with all your writing in the future!

Kate B said...

I once wrote a Masters essay involving the violinist, Oistrakh. I was out of time and didn't pay enough attention to the spell check. It changed every reference to Ostrich.

It was a salient lesson. Sigh.

Best of luck with the books

xxxxxxxxx

Catherine Hughes said...

I noticed a complete stuff up in my Writing Magazne yesterday. Sophie Whatsername's article had obviously been rearranged on the page and the text amended accordingly, but the original text not deleted. It made me go 'uh?'!

Cat (ONineTales)

Nora Nadjarian said...

Hi Marsha
From Nicola's party, nice to meet you.
I'm the other one eating all the chocolate truffles..;-)
Nora (I live in Cyprus, I write in English)

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Good luck, I'm following your progress with interest. We used to get parents letters saying 'they were under the doctor' and childrens work suggesting an enigma was something you put up your bottom!

Cathie said...

I recently wrote a story that hinged around a famous painting. It was only after it was shortlisted and published that someone pointed about to me that I'd got the name wrong.
From computer screen to keyboard, Robert had turned into James. How did I manage that??

Anna Bowles said...

Oh, this is a very fertile subject. I'm an editor and it's axiomatic that as soon as you get in the first copy of a newly published book you will open it and there, right in front of you will be a glaring typo. You just accept it as Life, try not to scream, and only worry if you go on to find more than one.
Most book editing errors are pretty dull, however.

You get much more hair-raising ones in broadcasting, because of the lack of time for checking. I used to do live news subtitles, and once a colleague of mine had set up her system to expand the letters 'fc' into 'female circumcision' so she could subtitle a news report on the subject. And then she had to subtitle the sports report... The result being that subtitles recording the exploits of 'Liverpool FEMALE CIRCUMCISION' were broadcast to the nation.

Lost Wanderer said...

I read about your 24 Hour series on Nicola's blog, and can't even remember why I didn't start following your blog straight away, but glad to say finally got here.

Megs - Scattered Bits said...

ROFL at that unfortunate and terrible error.

Most of my personal editing gaffes aren't quite so terrible, but I always cringe when I discover them, especially in the places I can't edit them, like my comments on the web. I hate that. I'm a compulsive, revision-loving editor that just itches to take up the red pen wherever I see typo or grammatical horror. Or those words I leave in like appendixes, etc. when I changed my mind to write something else. Ugh.

Well, congrats on the editing you get to do and the work with Nicola (how I found you today) and on your book. If I had the money...

Anyway, love your blog here. Bookmarking for future adventures in blog reading. (I read entirely too much. :grins shamelessly: That train shows no signs of losing momentum.)

Katie Mayes said...

Just hopping over from Nicola's Blog Party to say hi!

I love your blog - it's really inspiring.

Just wanted to say congrats on becoming published and I'm now an avid follower.

Katie x

Jemi Fraser said...

I've popped in from Nicola's blog as well :)

Editing errors can be so funny. I haven't been published, so mine as all at the fixable stage still :)

Harry Markov said...

Jumping from Nicola's blog to say hi and your November post was thrilling and I enjoyed it immensely.

Introductions aside. I do a lot of the 'pubic' mistakes: six = sex [due to that that naughty left finger] and other random slips, where my subconscious mind decides to change one similar sounding word with a totally different meaning.

Colette said...

Hi Marsha, I'm here from Nicola's party. Congrats on your book this year -- awesome!

Marsha Moore said...

Wow, what a lovely thing to come back to -- all of these great comments! Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to come by the blog and say hi or share your cringe-worthy experiences!

I can't wait to network more with all of you and make my day feel a little but less isolated...

Thanks again! Keep the party rolling!

PS - Kate, love the comments about the 'Ostrich'! AH!

Jo said...

Stumbling in from Nicola's. Congrats on being published. That find and replace function on computer's should be eliminated as far as I am concerned. While putting the final polish on my first manuscript for my editor, I used it to replace the proper name 'Sam' and then had to spend hours searching out every word which included those three letters: same, sample...
Best of luck on your publishing voyage.

Jean said...

Hi Marsha, I also came via Nicola's blog-birthday party.

I had a similar problem to Jo with that pesky 'find and replace' key. I decided to change a character's name from Stan to Steve (in a 300-page manuscript). Ages later I was still finding strange words appearing, such as understeveding!

catdownunder said...

Finally prowling in from the party
- oh, I think I need more time to explore your 'house'. I'll be back!

arlee bird said...

Ran into your post at the Nicola party and you hooked me with chocolate truffles. Then in your post you bring up meat eating. I'm probably not much of an editor although I think I catch most of my errors most of the time. Besides that I've got a bad memory so I can't think of any bad editing examples. Check my blog and see if you find any errors and let me know about them. All I ever get are nice comments. Now back to the subject of hamburgers and chocolate.

Lee
http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth West said...

Hi Marsha! Found your blog courtesy of the Crabbit Old Bat!

Oh LORD. "Pubic Relations." That's terrible! Is it bad that I laughed like crazy?

I used to write ads for a shopper paper and my boss told me about a mistake someone made a while before I started. An older lady had advertised an organ for sale and when the ad came out, it said in big bold capital letters "ORGASM FOR SALE."

My boss told me they ran the corrected ad for free for several months, until she sold the organ.

Arabella said...

Oh, man, that ostrich mistake just made me laugh! I can't think of anything funny, but I'm reading a mainstream mystery novel with all kinds of spelling errors--astonishing. I'm kind of obsessive about errors in my own work, but I suppose they creep in unbidden. Jill
p.s. from Nicola's blog party

Kaye Manro said...

Hello Marsha! I saw you at Nicola's and thought I'd stop on by.

Nice post on editing. I'm a journalist but I also write romance. What bothers me is seeing passive voice. To me it's the worst.

Good luck with you newly pubbed book!

BucksWriter said...

Hi, found you via Nicola's blog party!

When working in contract publishing I had a designer who constantly spelt the client's name wrong in banner type across the top of the publication - Baraclycard was not amused...

Deniz Bevan said...

So many funny mistakes! I'm getting a real kick out of this post, especially cos I'm such a stickler for copy edits. I wish I could think of a funny one that I've made, but my mind's gone blank. I mixed up a date last week, but numbers aren't as funny :-)

Ann said...

Hi Marsha, just stopping by from the party. Congratulations on publication! Still smiling at the editing bloopers. Have to follow, I enjoyed this so much! Thanks