Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dangerous Typos




I was revising my book, when what do you know...I found a typo. Seriously, I've read this manuscript how many times? And I still had a typo?

Misplaced or missing letters can dangerously alter the mood of the story. Here are some examples:

awww vs. ewww
taunt vs. taut
trainer vs. trailer
spout vs. sprout
nose vs. hose
kink vs. kinky
dad vs. dead
give 'em hell vs. give 'em help

Yeah, a couple of these were buried in my manuscript. And they're spelled right, so spellcheck was of no use. Please tell me I'm not the only writer with these Doh! moments.

Can you add any other dangerous typos to the list? And it's time to spill the beans. What goofy mistakes have you found in your manuscript? And was it already out to agents or editors? Let's share the shame.

To all you A-Z bloggers out there, congratulations on a job well done! Your posts were so much fun to read.


47 comments:

  1. Ha ha! It's funny how some things slip through after so many revisions. On my last read-through, I found an incomplete sentence! I must have been editing it and gotten interrupted, because the sentence just...stopped. No period, nothing. Good thing I did that last read-through!

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  2. LOL yeah, autocorrect comes up with some CRAZY things sometimes! And I've had readers find words like that, too (cough-cough)...like wrenched instead of retched (really? Who brought the tool chest?)...

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  3. I found in mine...
    course - coarse
    your - you're
    there - their
    Silly mistakes!
    I think my brain does the thesaurus thing when I'm rushing...it picks the first word and I type it.

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  4. Oh yeah, I've definitely found errors like those even after several rounds of editing! The worst was dick instead of deck and my character was uh... laying on it.

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  5. I'm scared to death of typo's, Julie. Writing from my place in the publishing world, I want to do everything I can to ensure that my writing is taken seriously and looks as professional as the big shots that stand behind the giant publishing houses. One little error can be ignored and forgotten when the writing is done well, but formatting errors can be killers!
    Unfortunately, my most embarrassing moment came during a Twitter message. One innocent comment suddenly took an X-rated turn because of one little mistake. I'm no angel, but I was shocked and could not delete that note fast enough...

    -Jimmy

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  6. I had a character "hanging on for dead life" once - and I don't write about vampires or zombies!

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  7. Loved everyone's comments. I too have come across several typos in my edits.

    My worst moment was during a chat session. I had sent my best friend a message "Hi...are you busty....." instead of "Hi..are you busy" .Thank God it was my childhood friend who knows me well. After that I double check whatever I have typed before I click enter.

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  8. You are definitely not the only one!

    LOL ewww, what a sweet kiss! ;)

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  9. I am sure I'll find plenty of typos, but I won't find them all. I hope my betas will catch the ones I miss.

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  10. I KEEP finding them! How is that possible? How many eyes have seen the thing by now?

    Can't think of an example, but yes, they slip in big time . . . actually just read a book by a well-known author (who I think is excellent) and published by a large publishing company and I couldn't believe how many of those typos I found. Guess those mistakes get everyone. :)

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  11. I like this post. It is crazy how easy it is to make a typo and never notice it because their is n't a glaring red line under it:)

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  12. My personal favorite was "death treats" instead of "death threats."

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  13. Nope, I can’t add to what you and your commenter’s have stated… but definitely you’re not alone… I have caught several typos if finished manuscripts (other writer’s works of course) so that just shows you the hunt for typos is never ending.

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  14. Haha, wow. I've found a number of really?-I-wrote-that? type mistakes when going through my WIP. I had a taut one, too!!

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  15. Just this morning. On my final (did I say final?) draft of my synopsis. Thing instead of think. But it got caught before I sent it. #thankgoodnessforcritpartners

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  16. LOL, oh my gosh that typo picture is hilarious! When I write my first draft, I just write write write and don't worry so much about the squiggly red lines that show up on the page. So I find many funny typos when I'm finished, heehee.

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  17. I've made many of those listed above, but my favorite one was from a ms I edited:

    He messaged her foot.

    Really? Like with Morse Code or something? :)

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  18. Oh those are priceless! If I were you, I'd fire your critique buddies. Oh. Wait. DON'T LISTEN TO ME I WILL FEED YOU CHOCOLATE.

    My worst? HONESTLY? Sending out a "final" version that still had my own comments visible in the edit function. *headpalm* DOH.

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  19. Fun post! Thanks for the laugh...

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  20. They're brilliant, I love Heather's comment :)

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  21. "death treats" *rofl* I'm picturing the Reaper holding out a platter of Twinkies...

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  22. I had a few odd typos in the past few weeks when I was commenting on blogs using my iPod. I'm not very good at catching them & a few remain on blogs. Not so good :)

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  23. ahh... the perfect op to tell you one of my FAVE work-related stories... this was when I worked at LSU public relations. My good friend and colleague was working on the English Department's alumni newsletter to be sent to all graduates of the LSU English Dept. The day she got her copies (after it printed/mailed) this horrifying howl came from her office next to mine. We ran in to see who had died...

    She'd missed the announcement that a graduate was now working in pubic relations at such-in-such a place...

    public, not pubic can be added to your list... BAH!!! :D

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  24. I once had a student writing a short story about organ stealing criminals. He MEANT to say this: "If the Dr needs organs then you're a goner!"
    He ACTUALLY said this: "If the Dr needs organs then you're a gonad!"

    It made marking the stories much more interesting!

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  25. Typos are like a curse cloud surrounding our keyboards. You think you've wiped them all away, yet some seem to pop back up. Not fair. I had an unfortunate incident with ship, need I say more?

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  26. In my second sentence, I had a girl deveining a shrimp in five *minutes* when it should have been five *seconds*. Finally, in an online critique competition, someone pointed out: "What's so great about her being able to devein a shrimp in five minutes?" I can't tell you how many times I'd read through that sentence and never noticed that mistake! I was soooo grateful!

    Great post! :)
    Amy

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  27. haha! This reminds me of a work email I sent once. Someone's pay was delayed and I wanted to ask if she'd received it yet. and guess what I wrote? "Have you been laid yet?" hehehe

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  28. My worst typo is form vs from. I do it nearly every time. Drives me crazy !!

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  29. Hehee. I've had a few of those. One I had was 'mine' instead of 'mime.' Thank goodness for my CP's eager eyes. LOL.

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  30. LOL, that's funny. Any typo with "poop" is good. hahaha

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  31. Hi, Julie,

    Some of those buggers are easy to skip right over. Found one in someone's ms the other day and she said she'd read at least a hundred times. Should have been flair, but she had flare. We expect to see what we think we've typed and not what's actually there. :D Happens to me a lot.

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  32. Your blog reminded me how important it is to reread our manuscripts out loud. Easier to catch the typos that way.

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  33. Ha! Funny list.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. I rarely see a published book that doesn't have at least 1 glaring typo.

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  34. LOL! Great list!
    My worst typo?
    "I want tit" instead of "I want it." :P

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  35. Lol! What a list of typos. Yet so true. You can't trust spell checks with this. Best thing to do...let it marinate for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes. But yes, even published books have typos!

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  36. This is so frustrating, isn't it, especially after a dozen sweeps to catch them all. Worst are the ones that are still words, and so slip under the radar.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  37. I am always---ALWAYS--amazed when I find typos on pages I edited a zillion times. But that's the way it is I think. I can spot other people's but not my own.

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  38. There will always be typos that we miss. Heck, I read books released by major publishers that contained typos. It lets us know you're human. :P

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  39. LOL! I love D*mnYouAutoCorrect. Seriously, I go there whenever I need a pick me up - it's like an intravenous injection of funny.

    Typos - I don't know how you catch them other than having lots of people read them. Although sometimes I catch them better in print.

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  40. Oh, yes. I've read my ms about 1.5 Million times, and there are still typos. Grr.

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  41. OMG that site is SO funny! I remember laughing out loud when I first discovered it.

    I bet mixing up there/their is common. I'm sure I'll find many of my own examples when I re-read my first draft!

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  42. ah, between give em hell and give em help, how one letter can make such a big difference! yes, spellcheck checks spelling, but unfortunately there's no autocorrect yet for context!

    am off now to catch up on the last 2 posts ;-)

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  43. Nice article, thanks for the information.

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  44. Some of those typos are definitely mood-changers. I tend to have a few funny ones too. As somebody above mentioned, public to pubic really changes things up!

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  45. Typos can be hilarious (not to mention embarrassing). A copyeditor once discovered that I'd spelled one of my characters names incorrectly. Yikes!

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  46. Gosh, those typos can be so embarrassing! Yep, I've done the public to pubic before, tee hee. I did a doozy in my last post as well, was doing a shout-out to Chris Kelworth, and typed "Christ" by mistake. Too funny, lucky he reminded us he wasn't the saviour! :D

    Hugs,

    Rach

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