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Topic: Ugh! Don't you hate it when things don't add up?

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Subject: Ugh! Don't you hate it when things don't add up?
Date Posted: 1/7/2010 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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We've had discussions before about how irksome it is when the author seems to lose track of things like time or age and then the math doesn't work.

I just finished a book where in the closing scene the couple is watching their adopted daughter take her first steps.  But if  you consider the chronology of the book, the daughter is about 17  months old.  I know babies mature at different rates, but my daughter started walking at 12-13 months and that was considered rather late. So age 17 months for a first step?

It's not a huge deal, but why do the editors not catch this stuff?


Last Edited on: 1/7/10 3:33 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/7/2010 6:28 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2005
Posts: 1,012
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I guess without other context, it wouldn't bother me that much--there's a big range for walking (something like 9 months to 18 months); 17 mo isn't out of range.  It'd depend a bit on the rest of the description of what the baby's doing and what the other timing cues are.  Maybe an editor thought it was OK in context of the story?

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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I thought about that, and this definitely isn't as blatent as some logic errors  - but it also seems a requirement in these stories that the hero (and his family) is the smartest, strongest, quickest, etc.  Wouldn't usually be in character to have a late-walking baby, although I suppose it is possible. Or perhaps Baby 2 was a preemie and didn't go 9 months. (making the math less).

This part was basically a fade out scene showing a happy family moment in the future with Baby 2 already born and all of them at home, watcing Baby 1 taking her first step. 

It just seemed sloppy to me when there would be no context for the age scenario or problems that would have made her less than 17 months.

Last Edited on: 1/7/10 9:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/7/2010 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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That kind of thing bugs me too.  I'm sure that it's not unheard of for a baby to take his/her first step that late, but it's definitely below the curve.  My kids walked at 9 and 11 months respectively, so being that one was pretty darned early and the other was average, my perspective may be a little off.

I am really bothered by a few weird things that don't add up in the Outlander series, and have only been able to find a partial explanation that did not help, and it just bugs me every time I think about it.  I know there are bigger things to worry about in life, but darn it, I read to escape, and I don't want to have flaws in my fantasy world!\

Oh, here's one that really annoyed me recently.  Was reading the 2nd of the Montana Creeds books, Dylan, by Linda Lael Miller.  Dylan suddenly gets custody of his 2 year old daughter and she get sick.  He goes and buys baby aspirin.  Ummmmm, NO.  Children are not supposed to take aspirin because of the risk of Reye's Syndrome- apparently none of LLM's editorial staff are parents though, because anyone who has had a baby in the last 15 years at least has been told this by their pediatrician.

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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why the heck do they call it baby aspirin then?!I mean I don't have kids but if I knew one was sick and the mom said to pick up something I'd see 'baby aspirin' and think 'perfect'..if the baby can't take it then call it toddler aspirin or preschool aspirin!

I try not to dwell on the stuff that doesn't make sense but I know I"ve read plenty t hat don't!

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Acording to the interwebs, it's not safe for any kids, up to age 19.

Don't know if this is true everywhere, but around here they don't sell "baby aspirin" anymore.  You can still find chewable, low-dose aspirin but it's labelled for adults (who take it for diabetes or heart problems.)

Last Edited on: 1/7/10 2:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/7/2010 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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  Ah this is interesting:


According to this, "WARNINGS:
Reye's syndrome: Children and teenagers should not use this medicine for chicken pox or flu symptoms before a doctor is consulted about Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness reported to be associated with aspirin."

So apparently it is okay to give kids aspirin for other symptoms.  But probably most of the time it's just simpler and safer to give them other pain relievers.

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I don't know how the label it, but I think most of us who grew up in the era of baby aspirin probably still refer to it as such.  I remember being a little, little kid and my mom crushing up those little pink St. Joseph's baby aspirins in a spoon mixed with jelly to get me to take it when I was sick.  It still has a market because of being used as a blood thinner for older people at risk for heart disease or stroke, but should definitely not be given to kids.  I was told by my kids' doctors to never give it to my kids for any reason, and all of the books I've read on parenting say that too.  So the makers of generic children's Advil have made a lot of money from me in the last 13.5 years!

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Yeah that's a pet peeve of mine too.  You'd think they'd take notes to remind them of things. I hate it when they do a prologue and the hero/heroine is say 11 in teh prologue. Then they the 1st chapeter will say 10yrs later but that same person is only 18.  Um flumk math did ya?  Or when people change eye color throughout the book. 

I really hate it with romances when the people on the cover don't match the description of them in the book.  I realize that author's don't make the book covers but surely, knowing it's a romance, there could be notes made for the person designing the cover.  I know this is probably a stupid pet peeve but if I see a couple on teh cover-that's who I'm picturing when I read the book.  And so if I'm picturign a hero with long dark hair and clean shaven and he's described as being a blonde with a mustache-it throws me off.

Date Posted: 1/10/2010 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 134
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Ditto to what Mary just said.

I prefer my authors to take their time and produce a quality novel, than finish a story quickly just to meet a dead line.  I remember reading an excerpt from Water's Edge, in the back of a Judith McNaught book. It was supposed to be her up and coming novel involving a woman time travelling back to medieval times.  Come to find out, the book changed genres and plots, then was named a totally different tittle.  McNaught had started writing it, then changed her mind about everything (a woman's prerogative, of course) and turned the book into a contemporary suspense romance. 

I was a little disappointed by not getting another Judith McNaught historical romance but it was still a great read and worth the wait.  Her newest book was supposed to come out last May and now it won't be out till maybe next year, but she is also dealing with a family illness, so I understand. 

I will wait forever for a new book sometimes.

Date Posted: 1/10/2010 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,673
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Don't know if this is true everywhere, but around here they don't sell "baby aspirin" anymore

I work in a drugstore, we definitely do sell Children's Aspirin!  Bayer makes it and we have a generic version as well.  This is in addition to the same dosage (81mg) enteric coated aspirin.  Plus, St. Joseph's makes an 81mg chewable but they label it Adult.  Bayer definitley labels theirs Children's Aspirin.

Date Posted: 1/11/2010 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2009
Posts: 1,407
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I agree with Mary about the cover - it's so annoying to have to remember that so-and-so doesn't look remotely like the cover every time I pick a book up.

Recently read a Regency where the hero went searching for the heroine, realized while searching that he didn't know her last name, and then produced marriage license once he found her - procured before he learned her last name. Huh?

Date Posted: 1/11/2010 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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I found one last night.  She's wearing a t-shirt and later he started to unbutton her blouse.  It's not a big deal, but still...

Date Posted: 1/11/2010 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Don't you love those clothing clunkers?  Like you're thinking they're naked & a shirt or some underwear seems to have transported from the floor & back on their bodies.  Or they do this slow stocking removal and THEN off comes the shoe.  My fav is when you realize the hero on your mental movie screen is buck naked but still has his boots on:P

Date Posted: 1/11/2010 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I hate the forgotten condoms. :-\

So I just came across, in a recent book, a 4 month old baby sleeping on its stomach on a bed surrounded by pillows. That set off all my maternal alarm bells! Reminds me of the Christmas after our son was born, when my husband saw a Nativity scene at the store and found himself thinking, "someone needs to put clothes on that baby, he's freezing!"

Date Posted: 1/27/2010 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Ugh! I just read one. The heroinne (20ish) is talking to her friend (also 20ish) and the friend tells her about her "SISTER" who married her husband after knowing him a few weeks and is still married to him THIRTY SEVEN years later. How about her mom or aunt but SISTER?? come on, that is just an unbelievable age gap.