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Topic: Bad editing/proofreading....

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Subject: Bad editing/proofreading....
Date Posted: 3/8/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2008
Posts: 31
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I started reading a new book today and I'm only into the third chapter and I've already found some proofreading errors that have kind of turned me off to reading the rest of the book. The author keeps mixing up the names of the characters in dialogue and it's making me crazy! Honestly, if you can't keep your own characters' names straight why should I care about your book? Has this ever turned only else off to finishing a book?
Date Posted: 3/9/2009 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2009
Posts: 37
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I noticed that recently with a book and I don't if it was the publisher, editor or writer (or all of them for that matter), but they had no concept of eighth grade grammar.  "Its" and "it's" were frequently used incorrectly, not to mention other commonly misused words... Ugh.  It drove me nuts and made me rethink why our culture cannot speak or write very well.  Sigh.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Publishing houses seem to think getting rid of editors is a way to cut costs.  Instead it drives me away from their label.  They are relaying on spell check too much.  Editing is a VERY important step.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Yes, I'm the same way--if there are enough errors to drive me out of the story, I'll stop reading the book. Wrong forms of words like there/their/they're or too/to/two drive me the craziest, although simple typos if there are enough of them are just as bad. Ugh!!


Date Posted: 3/9/2009 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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The typos bother me, but I understand how it happens most of the time. What really bothers me is glaring factual errors.  I book I read over the weekend tried to convince me that Sid Vicious was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols. It really annoyed me, since it's so easy to check that fact. Just seems lazy to me on the author's part not to get her facts straight.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2008
Posts: 31
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I can overlook some errors, but when an author can't keep her own characters straight I have to throw in the towel. I skipped through the book today and found mistakes on several more pages and decided the book wasn't worth the time.
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 5:04 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,850
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One of the awful results of reliance on computerized spell-checking is the substitution of the wrong word for a misspelled one, which corrects the error to the computer's satisfaction but ain't litrichure. You end up with strange non-kosher sentences like "The bishop knelled in prayer."

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2007
Posts: 2,923
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I had to give up on one book because the character names all seemed to change every other chapter. It was beyond annoying trying to figure out who was supposed to be saying what.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/14/2009 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Errors like that aren't a big deal to me...likely because I read pretty fast, and take in whole sentences almost instantly, so a spelling error won't throw me.  I did just recently read two books in a popular series that had enough errors to make me do a few double-takes and wonder what was going on with the proofreading.  I still liked the stories, I just thought a better job could have been done.

Date Posted: 3/15/2009 5:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've had the same experience.  No one seems to use proper written English any more, and I blame it on spell-check and out-sourcing.  They really need proof-readers even if they don't want editors.  And I'm thinking that no computer will be any good at grammer.  Spell-check is happy if what is there is a real word - doesn't have to be the right word!   I'm no author (wish I could do that), but the glaring errors plus the poor quality of materials used to make books now is appalling. 


Date Posted: 3/17/2009 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 22
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One error that is one of my pet peeves is the term "to bring" or "to take"...You can't "bring" something to a place you are not at. You have to "take" it! Not only do I see this in books, magazines,etc but I hear it on the news! It drives me crazy!! Also the use of the words "an" and "and" are being interchanged. A BIG difference!!
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I came across one yesterday when I was reading...."The doorbell peeled." aaaaaaaaaagh! LOL


Date Posted: 3/17/2009 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 3,163
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I've been noticing this a lot lately from the publishing company I work for which is quite embarrassing. Even in bestselling books by big name authors. I don't even forgive the typos. That should not happen. But when the author gets characters mixed up...argh!!

Subject: Wrong words
Date Posted: 3/18/2009 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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How about the substitution of 'pouring over a book' for the correct 'poring over a book' ? Even if you didn't hate the typo, you'd wind up with an unpostable book.
Subject: pesky quotes
Date Posted: 3/25/2009 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 16
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Most definitely!!! I had to pass on the second in a series eventhough I found it really interesting because I could NOT STAND that the quotes were all flip flopped... using single when should have been double and vice versa. It was maddening!! I thought by the second book the publisher would have fixed it.... alas no:(

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Another one from the book I'm currently reading (Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride)...it talked about a "grizzly scene" rather than a "grisly" one. Good heavens! LOL


Date Posted: 3/25/2009 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Kristen, if the book was originally published outside of the United States the grammar in your book was probably fine.  The British switch their quotation marks.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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Melissa, what was the book you were reading? So I know to avoid it ;-)
Date Posted: 6/25/2011 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2010
Posts: 171
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I read several of Amanda Hocking's ebooks and the spelling and grammar were almost bad enough to make me give up on her.

Date Posted: 6/25/2011 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,620
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Boy, I couldn't agree more with everything written in this thread.  I thought I was just being overly picky about what I was reading, but, like you have all observed, books today are full of typos, misnamed characters, factual errors --- I especially hate geographical errors.



Last Edited on: 6/8/13 10:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 6/27/2011 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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It's getting pretty bad in paper books and magazines, I agree, but online versions are FAR worse.  It's like NO ONE proof reads those.

Date Posted: 8/18/2011 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 2,148
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The book I'm reading now just referred to an "elicit affair."  The one before -- apparently the author couldn't decide whether he wanted a stolen item to be a bracelet or a necklace, and within the span of five pages it was a bracelet, a necklace, a bracelet, a necklace, a bracelet...you get the drift.  Does nobody read these things before they go to press?

Date Posted: 9/18/2011 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I have to stop myself from crossing off misspelt words and correcting them in the margin, afraid that when I repost the book that someone would RWAP me for "writing in the margins" but, man oh man, it just kills me to leave them as they are!

Date Posted: 9/23/2011 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I read a book the other day where the author clearly didn't pay attention to what she had written before. On 1 page the main character is mentioned as being 30. She's a Kindergarden Teacher.  It's mentioned that all 3 of Character B's kids came through her kindergarden class.  Well 50 pages or so later, character B now only has 1 child and that child was killed in Iraq several years ago.  So even if the kid was only 18, had died say 5 yrs ago (several to me means around 7).  Anyway the main character would have had to have been a  Kindergarden teacher at around age 12.   This was a short story so it was easy to find since it was only 50 or so pages apart.  

Date Posted: 9/23/2011 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,564
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Sally said:  I have to stop myself from crossing off misspelt words and correcting them in the margin....

Mee, to!   I just want to get the pensil out an make it rite.  I jist red a book that had not won errer.  Amasing.