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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:49 am 
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Last Black Static's "Stone Whispers" has 'heal' instead of 'heel' - stuck out like a sore, er, heel... :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:13 am 
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The Court Of The Air has sacred instead of scared... made me re-read that sentence a few times in case I didn't understand what was going on :)
Perhaps I still don't :(

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:34 am 
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I only proofread the Case Notes part of Black Static, so Andy takes the blame for that one :lol:

And you're right about reading in different formats. Despite reading the Word doc through umpteen times when Andy sent me last issue's Case Notes as a PDF I found another six typos.

Ross, you'd be surprised how often names change in stories. For Interzone I must see it in at least 10-20% of the stories I proofread, and there is one writer for whom it seems to be a trademark. And name changes are one of the most difficult things to spot, in that unless it's a fairly generic name, such as Michael or John, catching the error depends not so much on spelling as remembering how it was spelt when previously appearing in the story. We're looking for consistency rather than correctness as such, all of which gets further complicated in the case of SF stories where the names are invariably out of the ordinary to the max. My low point as Interzone proofreader was a story where an Arabic name was spelt in three different ways, and I missed it completely.

Back in the long ago, before all this newfangled technology, stories used to get typed up by editors and that led to all sorts of problems, some quite amusing. My first published horror story ended with a man getting stabbed in the 'crouch' while an SF story had Earth's government panicking over a spaceship that was 'the size of a small room' (it was a 'moon' when I submitted to them). And, conversely, there was the time when I thought 'a drowsing man will grasp at any straw' was a really neat play on words, and the eagle-eyed proofreader corrected it :cry:

Checking your own stuff is good, but other eyes are necessary because we all have blind spots, incorrect usages that we've picked up over the years and won't correct until someone else points them out. For years I thought 'atypical' was simply a contraction of 'a typical' and using it in that sense, until two people pointed out the error in the same week. Dumb, dumb, dumb. And then there was the time I 'retired' Ellen Datlow by referring to her as 'editor emeritus' - I thought it meant the one with the most merit :(

As I said in the first post here, I think typos are inevitable. For me, with my reviewing hat on, the question is at what level they become unacceptable and publishers need to be called on it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Everyone makes the occasional mistake, but whether I think it's a big issue depends on what the mistake tells you about the publication. Some mistakes do just result from blind spots (e.g. I ran a whole year of TQF issues with stories by Andrew J. Offut - it just hadn't occurred to me to check it). Other mistakes can be clues that something weird has happened to the book - there were mistakes in Memoirs of a Master Forger that to me suggested last minute cuts - or that there are particular problems with the publishing procedure.

Others tell you that the publication hasn't been proofed (or even edited) at all, especially if the same kind of mistakes turn up in every issue or every book. Typesetting a novel doesn't take much more than an hour - it's the editing, proofing and correcting that takes the time. I'd be hardest on those publishers who are obviously skipping that side of things... It's cheating, basically.

I'm a bit gutted today after realising that the uncorrected version of one story found its way into the finished version of Dark Horizons 55, complete with a couple of annoying typos (Grossly for crossly, Its for its, both resulting from it having been scanned originally). I took a different approach with the proofs, and new approaches open up new holes for mistakes to sneak through! I'm terribly unhappy about it, but there's an extra note on my task template now to make sure it doesn't happen again...

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:43 pm 
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I still prefer the red pen and old-fashioned galleys over MS Word's track changes any day. It's also more comfortable on my aging eyes. But, don't forget we also live in the digital age now where such typos, grammatical errors, bad sentence structure, and syntax will be on the rise. Why, even now there's a whole new young tech-savvy generation out there who spell and talk in leetspeak. They "text" each other to death... And that "texting" becomes a part of their vernacular, their everyday vocabulary. Their brain absorbs it.

I wouldn't be surprised if, by the year 2020, a digital book with 100 typos in it is considered irrelevant, absolutely NOTHING -- remember, the SciFi Channel is now "SyFy" -- and the days of true professional editing, craftmanship, and quality a thing of the past.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:09 pm
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Location: London
in a pro-published book i don't even like t see one and any more than that is really nnoying. i allow the small presses more lee-way (almost in a 'well they can't halp it way...') but it still really gets on my nerves!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:11 pm
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Location: Cheshire, UK
I can't help feeling this is generational thing. The texting generation, of which I'm not a member, will accept all sorts of abreviations and typos r not going 2 disturb them. Twitter might also b a factor.

Start complaining when books replace to/two/too with 2.


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