Thursday, April 25, 2013

To Err is Human: Typos in Literature

Moonraker by Ian Fleming, 1955 To Err is Human: Typos in Literature on AbeBooks: Most readers find typographical errors to be one of life's little annoyances, like being stuck at a traffic light when in a hurry.  For others, the publishing of a spelling or grammatical error is one of the most grievous mistakes imaginable. I personally enjoy a particularly silly error, and if it's done right, see it as a value-added perk to a book.  Perhaps it's because I am such a mind-bogglingly bad speller (any of my co-workers will attest to this). Whatever the reason, I enjoy when an ordinary sentence is rendered hilarious and turned on its ear by an incorrect homonym or rogue comma.

6 comments:

Deb said...

There's a story, probably apocryphal, about the unfortunate Ph.D. candidate who wrote an entire dissertation about the word "coil" in Moby Dick only to discover on the day of his Orals that it was a misprint for "coin" in his copy if the novel.

Bill Crider said...

It's a good story, either way.

Tom Johnson said...

I hear my wife giggle every now and then as she reads a book from one of the major publishing houses, and after awhile she'll tell me what the typo was. One of my favorites was in John Wright's "Null-A Continuum" from TOR Books. The sentence was supposed to read (paraphrase here), "She slipped into her insulated space suit." What we read, however, is, "She slipped into her insulted space suit." I would really like to ask John what insulted that space suit (lol).

Bill Crider said...

That's a good one.

Cap'n Bob said...

A magazine I read a few months ago made a comment about our cultural and social morays.

Bill Crider said...

When you're diving at night, and your feet feel the bite, that's a moray