May 29, 2006

It Was Bound to Happen.

I found an error in the book about punctuation. I may cry. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope that the text somehow had to be re-entered for the American edition (or perhaps for paperback), and the British version is actually pure, without blemish.

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. Now with a typo. Lynne Truss has betrayed my trust.

Posted by Attila Girl at May 29, 2006 12:23 PM | TrackBack

What's the general rule-of-thumb in publishing? Three errors or less, and it's considered perfect?

Or you can feel soiled. And dirty. And get naked and shower. It's up to you.

Posted by: Darrell at May 29, 2006 07:54 PM

Sure; go ahead and make light of the agony professional proofreaders go through every day . . .

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 29, 2006 09:24 PM

I really want to split a participle and watch the reaction.

Posted by: Sean Hackbarth at May 30, 2006 08:15 AM

Actually, according to this here review in the New Yorker (,) the book is one great big gigantic error.

Posted by: granny-man at May 30, 2006 08:58 AM

Seqan, you should have resolved to boldly split an infinitive where no infinitive had been split before.

Posted by: Averroes at May 30, 2006 12:09 PM

Split infinitives don't bother me, actually: I figure English is a Germanic language, and if all the pieces of verb show up somewhere in the sentence, it's cool.

Dangling participles make me crazy.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 30, 2006 12:38 PM

In the first massmarket edition of Greg Bear's Blood Music our little buddies have the ability to connect to neutrons. A fact which greatly amused Greg.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at May 30, 2006 01:10 PM

Had a look at the review and I got to wondering. What would he have written had he actually read the thing? What if he had paid attention to what he was reading?

Prime example of inordinate attention to inconsequential detail, coupled with a crippling lack of understanding regarding the concept of context.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at May 30, 2006 01:18 PM

I do not make light of your anguish! I know civilization, as we know it, can end at anytime with one errant comma! I don't know how you sleep at night! Editors should make those 7-and 8-digit salaries, not those CEO slackers!

Acknowledging and rewarding editors, hopefully, will be the solution to all the world's exigent problems, ceteris paribus.

Posted by: Darrell at May 30, 2006 01:30 PM

Oh, finally: someone understands how civilization can hang in the balance when one is determining whether or not a phrase should be closedup, hyphen-ated, or two separatewords.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 30, 2006 05:21 PM

Oh, I do! Editors beat it into me good!

A company had a policy of allowing four days billability when an employee was asked to prepare a paper for a major scientific research journal. The new head of our editing department sent around a memo stating that in the future, authors would have ONE day to write that paper, with the other THREE days alloted for typing, proofreading, and editing. If you could picture our org chart as an iceberg(always an apt reference), the part above water was mainly comprised of people with scientific and engineering degrees. The new head of editing was soon the old head of editing. Don't get me wrong: I thought it was a VERY fair allocation! At least, that's what I told the editors. Gotta watch out for those hotheads! They can fly off the handle without warning!

Right now I am getting a notice from your sytem telling me that "Your(MY) comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: " Hmm... That does sound questionable!

Posted by: Darrell at May 30, 2006 07:05 PM

I would have split the time with you, 50-50. But then, I'm nice ;)

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 30, 2006 08:35 PM

Apparently. :-) Hey! You said you don't do nice!

And that's why planes will always crash, energy independence will never be achieved, we'll never have a room-temperature superconductors, and new drug will always have nasty side effects! We researchers need at least 95% of the time! It is original work and I swear I'm not goofing off...I'm THINKING!

Posted by: Darrell at May 30, 2006 09:21 PM

Yes. I've been given to understand that my husband does that when he's lying on the bed in the middle of the afternoon, looking for all the world like he's . . . asleep.

Not sleeping, though, to hear him tell it. Cogitating.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 30, 2006 09:53 PM

That's right, we're cogitating. But rather than get you ladies all upset, we lie about the subject of our thoughts.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at May 30, 2006 10:34 PM

And yet, deep down, I know what it is. I take a deep breath and accept the fact that the man I married cannot--for more than 20 minutes--take his mind off of football.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 30, 2006 11:01 PM

20 minutes?

Posted by: Darrell at May 31, 2006 10:47 AM

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