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How Much Does Editing Matter to You
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Anne Marble



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 606

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject: How Much Does Editing Matter to You Reply with quote

I've been following a thread about editing at the Baen Books message board. There were complaints about editing in a couple of recent books. Also, on another board, a reader complained about the editing in the one E-Reads book she bought and said that she would never buy another book from them again. (I have bought several books from them, and most were fine, but one of them was full of typos -- it looked as if they forgot to turn off Track Changes when putting the e-book together. Wink Anyway, they fixed it right away, finding most of the errors on their own and uploading a new version.)

How much does editing matter to you? In particular, do you notice typos, etc. (There are multiple levels of editing, but usually, when people talk about editing problems, they mean copyediting or proofreading issues.) Have you ever contacted a publisher about problems you encountered? Or do you just give up on that publisher if the errors are bad enough? And if you have contacted a publisher, what was the response?

Have you noticed more editing problems with print books or e-books, and do certain publishers (print or e) tend to be worse? E-book publishers are sometimes notorious for editing issues, but in the past, certain print publishers have been equally notorious for their lack of proofreading. Some have even claimed that readers don't care about editing -- only to find out that readers do care. And they spaek with their wallets.

I've often read posts where readers said that this publisher or that publisher had terrible editing. Yet I often don't notice problems -- or I only seem to notice them if the book isn't going well. This is odd as I'm an editor Smile, but I guess when I'm reading, I'm not reading the text letter for letter.
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1246
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far, I have only read print books. Usually, I just correct spelling, punctuation and Spanish language errors myself. One book had the same proper name spelled two different ways, and one scene where a character who was swimming in the sea with several others also appeared in a boat beside the swimmers. I made notes in pencil in the front of the book; I did not contact the author or the publisher.

One punctuation lapse that muddles the flow of the story for me is missing or additional quotation marks. Sometimes it is almost impossible to make sense of who is saying what. Another error that annoys me is the use of the nominative pronoun "I" when the objective pronoun "me" is needed;"Let John and I know if there is a problem" makes me cringe. One would never say or write, "Let I know . . ." in place of "Let me know . . .", or would one?

Kay
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1387

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely notice copy-editing problems. In fact, I keep a log of those I notice in my fiction reading. Ebooks I have read are more likely to have poor editing and/or poor FORMATTING than printed books. In terms of ebooks from Baen, they definitely need a good copy-editor for the Grantville Gazettes.
The worst offender I’ve ever seen is one I just read about a week ago: Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens (Berkley Sensation Paranormal Romance ebook July 2007). There are run-together words on almost every page (sometimes multiple per page), so I estimated 1,000+ total errors. This is CARELESSNESS—sloppy interfacing or conversion between document formats.
Since the Sony Reader site includes a Help section with a feedback mechanism, I have given them lists of typos several times. I am overdue to give them another set with this Owens mess-up.
When I see formatting screw-ups, I blame the publisher. Why I see typos in print, I also blame the publisher. The typos MAY have come from the author or may have been introduced during editing (I know it can happen), but a good copy-edit is a PUBLISHER’S RESPONSIBILITY. I view publishing is a team effort that is impossible without the creative writers creating the original texts, but most of those writers need proper support to create a clean finished product. All the support & cleanup after the writing should be done by the publisher.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1387

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a list I've posted before. Just skip if you've seen it.

This is a list of “Oops” words (homonym/homophone errors, some not quite homophones, and some outright mindos) that I add to when I notice problems while reading. Most of the entries are from published books, though a few are from on-line discussions. I have added quoted context fragments of misuses for recent entries (since January 2005)—list additions before that were less systematic.
A lot / Allot
A lot / Alot (a non-word)
Abjure / Adjure “I have adjured [abjured] scandal”
Ad / Add
Admirably / Admiringly “gazed admirably [admiringly]”
Adverse / Averse “never adverse [averse] to” “not adverse [averse] to”
Advert / Avert “his face adverted [averted]”
Advice / Advise
Aerial / Arial
Affect / Effect
Affliction / Infliction
After / Before “but not after [before] causing”
Alight / Slight
All together / Altogether
Allude / Elude “what you eluded at [alluded to] in”
Alone / Along “take Fan alone [along]” “they were along [alone] again”
Alright / All right
Altitude / Attitude “Altitude [Attitude] control jets”
Among / In “among [in] the vastness of space”
Ancestors / Descendants “his ancestors [descendents] were expecting”
Anecdote / Antidote “anecdote [antidote] for”
Ape / Apt “an apt [ape] leader”
Arrant / Errant “arrant [errant] lock of blond hair”
Ascent / Assent “the exhilarating assent [ascent]”
Ascertain / Ensure “duty to ascertain [ensure] that”
Aspersion / Dispersion
Attach / Attack “one that you know I’d never attack [attach] myself”
Attendance / Attention
Aught / Ought
Avoid / Ovoid
Away / Way “stealing her breath way [away]” “it’s giving away [way] there”
Baby / Mother “Emily’s baby [mother]”
Back / Pack “I pushed pack [back]”
Back / Heck “at his fleeing heck [back]”
Bailer / Baler
Baited / Bated “with baited [bated] breath”
Ball / Bawl
Banter / Barter “barteringly [banteringly]”
Bare / Bear “couldn’t bare [bear] it” “could bare [bear] his offspring”
Bases / Basis “covered her basis [bases]”
Bath / Bathe “bath [bathe] his forehead”
Beau / Bow “Beau [Bow] Street Runner”
Bed / Bend “rounded the bed [bend] of the stairs”
Bedeviled / Besotted “was too bedeviled [besotted] with the imp to care”
Beef / Beefy “a beef [beefy] fist”
Belie / Betray “was haphazard, belying [betraying] the lack of time and planning”
Belie / Imply “belying [implying] another sleepless night”
Bellow / Below “fallen bellow [below] what”
Between / In “between [in] her clenched cleft” “between [in] her deep cleavage”
Between / Through “The sun was just starting to slant between [through] the part in the heavy blue drapes.”
Bile / Bilge “The familiar bilge [bile] in her stomach”
Black / Blank “blank-and-white [black-and-white] image”
Bliss / Blithe “the blithe [bliss] of the kiss”
Blue / Clue “the next blue [clue]”
Board / Broad “the board [broad] strategy”
Bolt hold / Bolt hole
Born / Borne “had born [borne] the change” “incomprehension was borne [born] of”
Boughs / Bows “in the bows [boughs]”
Brakes / Breaks “parking break [brake]” “hit the breaks [brakes]”
Braking / Breaking “breaking [braking] at a red light”
Breath / Breathe
Broach / Brook “broaching [brooking] no argument”
Brooch / Brook “would brooch [brook] no arguments”
Brook / Defy “to brook [defy] convention”
Bruit / Brute
Bushy / Busy “his busy [bushy] brows”
Busting / Bustling “busting [bustling] toward”
Buy / By “by [buy] it by”
Cache / Cachet “had a certain cache [cachet] herself” “cache [cachet] to being late”
Cache / Cash “emergency cashes [caches]”
Cackle / Crackle “She’d crackled [cackled] and whispered”
Cadging / Caging
Callous / Callused “calloused [callous] observer” “hand . . . callous [callused]”
Calumny / Perfidy
Canvas / Canvass “brown canvass [canvas]”
Carat / Caret / Carrot / Karat “three-karat [carat] diamond”
Cause / Cost “behavior that would cost [cause] her to lose her post.”
Censor / Censure “having your behavior censored [censured]” “censured [censored] for”
Chafe / Chaff “he was chaffing [chafing]” “chaff [chafe] against”
Chaser / Spacer “disconnected the spacer [chaser]”
Check / Cheek “put his check [cheek]”
Chord / Cord
Circumspect / Suspect “there is nothing circumspect [suspect or suspicious] about”
Cite / Sight / Site “as erotic as the site [sight] of him” “landing sight [site]”
Clamber / Clamor “clamored [clambered] up” “clambered [clamored] in his ears”
Clear / Cleave “cleared [cleaved] her sentence”
Clench / Clinch “jaws clinch [clench]” “he clinched [clenched] his teeth”
Cloak / Clock “round-the-cloak [round-the-clock]”
Close / Closet “his bedroom close [closet]”
Clothes / Cloths
Coarse / Course
Coat / Cot
Collaborate / Corroborate “should attempt to corroborate [collaborate]”
Command / Commandeer “commandeering [commanding] the”
Comparable / Comparative “the comparable [comparative] ease of”
Complement / Compliment
Conceive / Perceive “couldn’t perceive [conceive] of”
Concur / Demur “Francesca demurred [concurred]”
Conscientious / Contentious “was quite contentious [conscientious] in avoiding sweets”
Consume / Subsume “subsumed [consumed] by his heat”
Contagious / Contiguous
Continua / Continual “space-time continual [continua]”
Corner / Coroner
Council / Counsel “to council [counsel] me”
Countermand / Remand “remanding [countermanding] his order”
Courtesan / Courtier
Critic / Critique
Cue / Queue “slipped into the cue [queue]”
Cull / Trull “common cull [trull]”
Currant / Current
Daze / Gaze “her daze [gaze] darting toward”
Deceased / Diseased
Decent / Descent
Decibel / Frequency “into the highest decibels [frequencies]”
Decompose / Discompose
Deduce / Deduct “I deduct [deduce] that”
Defuse / Diffuse “diffused [defused] the situation” “diffusing [defusing] her anger”
Demur / Demure
Demure / ? “quick to demure [context requires obey; did author intend defer?]”
Denizens / Environs “into the lower denizens [environs]”
Descent / Dissent
Deuce / Deuced “deuce [deuced] uncomfortable”
Discreet / Discrete
Docilely / Dulcetly “followed her dulcetly [docilely]”
Dodge / Dog “who dodged [dogged] his every step”
Domino / Dynamo “a tiny domino [dynamo]”
Don / Dress “Donned [Dressed] in a”
Dose / Doze “dosed [dozed] off”
Dour / Dower “being more dower [dour]”
Draw / Drawer
Dual / Duel
Eaton / Eton
Elicit / Illicit
Elusive / Illusive “they were both illusive [elusive]”
Eminent / Immanent / Imminent
Eminently / Immanently / Imminently
Empire / Umpire “an empire [umpire] at the World Series”
Encounter / Endeavor “to encounter [endeavor] a waltz”
Enlighten / Illuminate “soon illuminate [enlighten] him”
Entangle / Untangle
Enviably / Enviously “enviously [enviably] thick eyelashes”
Epigram / Epithet “calls ‘original’ an epigram [epithet]”
Epitaph / Epithet “unladylike epitaph [epithet]”
Equinox / Solstice “spring solstice [equinox]”
Even / Ever “ever [even] more”
Ever / Never “How could he deny that his life would ever [never] be the same?”
Every / Very “Oh, every [very] funny!”
Evict / Vacate “had evicted [vacated] the shop window”
Except / Expect “he’d eaten all the fruit expect [except]”
Exceptionable / Exceptional
Exchange / Extend “extending [exchanging] bone-crushing handgrips with us”
Exhibitionistic / Voyeuristic [context described being watched, not watching]
Expose / Repose “it exposed [reposed] now”
Extricate / Intricate “extricate [intricate] lace”
Face / Fact “display her figure and her fact [face]”
Fair / Fare “how you fair [fare]” “would not fair [fare] well”
Faze / Phase “phased [fazed] her”
Feather / Fettle “in especially fine feather [fettle]”
Feel / Find “find [feel] it arrive”
Fell / Felt “His gaze felt [fell] to the exposed skin”
Fewer / Less
Fig / Fit “A fit for that [A fig for that]”
Find / Fine “the find [fine] tendrils of hair”
First / Last “first [last] in, first out”
Flair / Flare
Flash / Flush “flashed [flushed] dark”
Flaunt / Flout “rules . . . One flaunts [flouts] them”
Flounder / Founder “floundering [foundering] boat” “had floundered [foundered]”
For ever / Forever “forever [for ever] so long now”
Forbode / Forbore
Forth / Fourth
Fortuitous / Fortunate
Foul / Fowl
Fridge / Frigid “fridge [frigid] night air”
Frission / Frizzier
Fungible / Impressionable “He’d been fungible [impressionable], and absorbed every word”
Fuse / Fuss “Zhena Trelu’ll fuse [fuss]”
Gait / Gate “the gait [gate] to the corral”
Gamble / Gambol “pups gambled [gamboled]”
Genteel / Gentile
Gild / Guild
Gloaming / Glomming
Grace / Graze “ever grazed [graced] anything”
Grass / Graze “could grass [graze] on”
Gravity / Levity “the levity [gravity/seriousness] it deserved”
Grisly / Grizzly
Gunnery / Gurney “on the gunnery [gurney]”
Hack / Track “oncoming track [hack]”
Had / Hand “in his had [hand]”
Hair / Hare / Heir
Hair / Head “on top of her hair [head]”
Half / Have “costs about have [half] that”
Hallow / Hollow “hallows [hollows] of his face”
Hank / Lank “a lank [hank] of dark blond hair”
Hard / Heard “having a heard [hard] enough time”
Haring off / Herring off
Harpoon / Lampoon “lampooning [harpooning] Constance with a steely glance”
Head / Heat “the head [heat] of passion”
Heap / Help “helped [heaped] his plate”
Hear / Here “Here, here [Hear, hear]”
Hence / Since “full month hence [since]” “gone . . . a year and a half hence [since]”
Henceforth / Hitherto “may he hitherto [henceforth] absent himself”
Heroin / Heroine
Hew / Hue “rosy hew [hue]”
Hoard / Horde “leader to the hoard [horde]” “managed to horde [hoard]”
Hole / Hold “in the hole [hold] of a ship”
Hole / Whole “tiny wholes [holes] in the lace” “the hole [whole] thing”
Home / Hone “hone [home] in on”
Honor / Horror “watch it in fascinated honor [horror]” “stared in honor [horror]”
Honorarium / Honorific
Horridly / Hurriedly “glanced horridly [hurriedly] about”
Hurdle / Hurl / Hurtle “hurdled [hurled] herself into the fog” “hurdling [hurling/hurtling] more bottles”
Idle / Idyll
Impeded / Impended
Imply / Infer “infer [imply] that you would” “What . . . are you inferring? [implying]”
Importunate / Importune “importune [importunate] male”
Importune / Opportune
In / Inn
Inclination / Indication “if he had any inclination [indication] of his effect”
Incredible / Incredulous “As incredulous [incredible] as it sounded”
Incredibly / Incredulously “asked incredibly [incredulously]”
Inflect / Inflict “inflect [inflict] upon”
Innovated / Innovative “the innovated [innovative] artist”
Integrate / Segregate
Intend / Tend “intend [tend] to inspire”
In to / Into “to give into [in to] your request” “carried it into [in to] her little boy”
Iron / Irony “the iron [irony] of fate”
Irresistible / Irresistibly “sparkling irresistible [irresistibly]”
Its / It’s “without it’s [its] warmth” “because its [it’s] all”
Jarvey / Jarvis
Knob / Nob
Know / Known
Know / No
Label / Lapel
Laid / Lain “The others had long since laid [lain] down on”
Laid / Lay “She lay [laid] her head back” “lay [laid] her within” “she laid [lay] on her”
Lassitude / Latitude
Lavishing / Lavishly “lavishly [lavishing] love on you”
Lay / Lie “to make . . . lay [lie] awake” “that so much power should lay [lie] helpless”
Lea / Lee “the lea [lee] of a hillock”
Lead / Led “door that lead [led] to” “anything that lead [led]”
Least / Lest “least [lest] the prisoners”
Less / Lest “less [lest] he see”
Life / Wife
Lightening / Lightning “Lightening [Lightning] quick”
Lines / Lives “threatens the welfare and even the lines [lives]”
Liquefy / Liquidate “liquidated [liquefied] healing sand”
Literal / Literate “simple, literate [literal] mind”
Lo / Low
Loath / Loathe “found herself loathe [loath] to” “I am loathe [loath] to”
Loll / Lull “head lulled [lolled]”
Loop / Lope “loped [looped] the horse’s reins”
Loose / Lose “I loose [lose] consciousness” “loose [lose] her temper”
Lose / Lost “want to lost [lose]”
Made / Maid
Magnanimous / Magnificent
Main / Mane “her main [mane] of glossy hair”
Manner / Manor “lady of the manner [manor]”
Marina / Marine “Inland from the marine [marina]”
Marred / Mired
Marshal / Martial “martialed [marshaled] composure”
Medicant / Mendicant “devices and mendicants [medicants/medications]”
Mere / Were “the were [mere] act”
Meso- / Mezzo- “Mezzo-America [Meso-America]”
Might / Night “another man night [might] reserve for”
Mind / Mine “mine-shields [mind-shields]”
Ministrations / Ruminations “started his ruminations [ministrations] again”
Minutes / Mutes “for the last 45 mutes [minutes]”
Mix / Nix “mixed [nixed] further investigation”
Mode / Modem
Mold / Mould
Moonlight / Moonshine “rays of moonshine [moonlight]”
Moral / Morale
Moral / Mortal “moral [mortal] animals”
Morbid / Morose “His curiosity was every bit as morose [morbid] as”
Muslim / Muslin
Muzzled / Nuzzled “he muzzled [nuzzled]”
Naval / Navel “to his naval [navel]”
No / Not
Notations / Notions
One / Once “one [once] pirate craft”
One / Won
Our / Out “Turns our [out] your mom”
Oust / Out “to oust [out] women who”
Pained / Pined “her heart pained [pined] for him”
Palate / Pallet
Palatable / Palpable “palatable [palpable] in the room’s chilled air”
Palpate / Palpitate
Paramount / Tantamount “His reaction was paramount [tantamount] to that of”
Parish / Perish
Passed / Past “now that she’d past [passed] her twenty-first birthday” “She moved passed [past]”
Passed / Paused “she passed [paused] for breath”
Pat / Put “put [pat] her rump”
Paw / Pawn “pawn [paw] them”
Peak / Peek / Pique “curiosity peaked [piqued]” “to peak [peek] into”
Peal / Pearl “inlaid peals [pearls]”
Pec / Peck “amazing pecks [pecs/pectorals]”
Pedal / Peddle “Put the peddle [pedal]”
Peremptory / Preemptory
Perjuring / Purging
Placard / Placket
Place / Plate “rice onto a place [plate]” “Picking up her place [plate]”
Plate / Tee “stepped up to the tee [plate]”
Played / Prayed
Pore / Pour “poured [pored] over every word” “pouring [poring] over a book”
Pray / Prey “would pray [prey] upon her”
Precede / Proceed
Pretense / Pretension “made no pretension [pretense] about his dislike”
Principal / Principle
Profligate / Proliferate “his proliferate, [profligate] spendthrift”
Propensity / Propinquity
Properly / Property “be property [properly] understood”
Properties / Proprieties “his eye fixed to the properties [proprieties]”
Proximity / Vicinity “vicinity [proximity] to the beach”
Puzzled / Puzzling “gave him a puzzling [puzzled] look”
Quay / Queue
Questionably / Questioningly “look questionably [questioningly]”
Quiet / Quit “quit [quiet], mousy”
Raced / Reached “raced [reached] their destination”
Rack / Rock “rack [rock] face of the cliff”
Rack / Wrack “rack [wrack] and ruin” “wracking [racking] her brain”
Rampant / Rampart “lions rampart [rampant]”
Ranging / Rangy “tall, ranging [rangy] man”
Rap / Wrap “he wrapped [rapped] lightly on the ceiling”
Raise / Rase “rasing [raising] her sheets”
Raucous / Ruckus “causing such a raucous [ruckus] in”
Ravages / Vestiges
Reek / Wreak “reek [wreak] . . . havoc”
Refrain / Restrain “wisely restrained [refrained] from saying”
Regime / Regimen “regime [regimen] of”
Reign / Rein “reign [rein] in her temper” “take up the reigns [reins]”
Relieve / Relive “will not relieve [relive] what was”
Rend / Rent “Tears from his daughter managed to rent [rend] his heart”
Repairs / Reparations
Respectful / Respective
Refrain / Restrain “to restrain [refrain] from”
Retch / Wretch “fall to her knees and wretch [retch]”
Retched / Wretched “while he wretched [retched]”
Retinue / Revenue “yearly retinue [revenue]”
Revered / Reverent “says in a revered [reverent] whisper”
Rife / Rift “rift [rife] with emotions”
Right / Rite “allowed equal rites [rights]”
Right / Tight “had a tight [right] to her insanity”
Right / Write
Ring / Wring “ringing [wringing] a woman’s neck”
Ringer / Wringer
Riverbank / Riverbed “threw it on the riverbed [riverbank]”
Road / Rode “he road [rode]”
Roast / Roost “rules the roast [roost]”
Rogue / Rouge “rakes and rouges [rogues]”
Role / Roll “into the roll [role] of” “the parish roles [rolls]”
Sad / Said
Salon / Saloon
Sanction / Sanctuary “retreated to seek sanction [sanctuary] in”
Sat / Set “She sat [set] it down”
Saw / So “but so [saw] no sign”
Scabbard / Scaffold “attached his scaffold [scabbard] to his belt”
Scene / Scent “the scene [scent] became easier and easier to follow”
Scene / Seen
Score / Scour “she scoured [scored] his back with her nails”
Seat / Set “splendid set [seat]”
Secret / Secrete “would not secret [secrete] himself” “secrets [secretes] himself away”
Seeded / Seedy “seeded [seedy] flat”
Set / Sot “smug and sot [set] in their ways”
Sew / Sow
Sewn / Sown
Sextant / Sexton “a brass sexton [sextant]”
Shelf / Shelve “temporarily shelf [shelve]”
Shift / Shrift
Shone / Shown “stars shown [shone] clearly”
Show / Snow “swirling show [snow]”
Shudders / Shutters “wooden shudders [shutters] at the window”
Silicon / Silicone “silicon [silicone] implants”
Sink / Slink “to slink [sink] beneath the table”
Sinned / Sinners “sinned [sinners] being cast”
Skew / Skewer “skewed [skewered] by a rhino” “skewered [skewed] her head around”
Skulking / Sulking
Snick / Snicker “the lock snickered [snicked]”
Snob / Snub
Sole / Soul
Son / Sun “son [sun] grows cold”
Sparing / Sparring “weakened sparing [sparring] partners”
Spin / Spine “down her spin [spine]”
Splurge / Surge
Spread / Strewn “She had been strewn [spread] out”
Spring / Sprig
Squabs / Squibs “flopped against the squibs [squabs]”
Staid / Stayed
Stain / Strain “bandages strained [stained]—soaked—with blood”
Stare / Start “started [stared] at the ceiling”
Stationary / Stationery
Stead / Steed “my stead [steed] will soar”
Steal / Steel “Stealing [Steeling] myself”
Step / Stop “her duty to stop [step] up and act”
Straightened / Straitened “straightened [straitened] financial circumstances”
Straights / Straits “financial straights [straits]”
Stricture [not a verb] her / Censure her?
Striped / Stripped “a stripped [striped] green waistcoat”
Sufferance / Suffering “such sufferance [suffering] to yourself”
Suggest / Suspect “strongly suggested [suspected]”
Sum / Sun “a farthing to the sun [sum]”
Switch / Watch “The glare watched [switched] to me”
Swore / Sworn
Table / Towel “in nothing but a table [towel]”
Tack / Tact
Tail / Tale “bushy tale [tail]”
Taught / Taut “taught [taut] and muscular”
Temerity / Timidity “temerity [timidity] and reserve”
Tenant / Tenet
Than / Then “I am more then [than]”
The / Them “all over them [the] place”
Their / There / They’re “there [their] continuity”
Thing / Think “only reasonable think [thing] to do” “another thing [think] coming”
Thou / Though “Thus wouldst though [thou]”
Threw / Through “blew it out threw [through]” “burst threw [through] the door”
Thrice / Trice “in a thrice [trice]”
Throes / Throws
Throne / Thrown
Thrust / Trust “trusting [thrusting] her breasts outward”
Tinkling / Twinkling “twinkling [tinkling] of music”
Tipped / Tippled “Her head tippled [tipped] back”
To / Too / Two “all to [too] well”
To / With “sharing . . . to [with] anyone”
Toe / Tow
Tombs / Tomes
Tortuous / Torturous “tortuous [torturous] two weeks”
Treacher / Trencher
Tread / Trod “could trod [tread]”
Truck / Trunk “against the tree truck [trunk]” “in the truck [trunk] of Clare’s car”
Tune / Turn “voice tuning [turning] husky” “He tuned [turned] sharply”
Undo / Undue “attracting undo [undue] attention” “an undo [undue] reaction” “to undue [undo] the mistakes”
Unexpected / Unsuspecting “The impact stung, as did the unsuspecting [unexpected] action.”
Urban / Urbane “the nonchalant, urban [urbane] rake”
Vaulted / Vaunted “vaulted [vaunted] logic was”
Veiled / Veined “thinly veined [veiled] satisfaction”
Verses / Versus “sang the other versus [verses]”
Vice / Vise “a velvet vice [vise]”
Vice / Visa “visa [vice] versa”
Violation / Volition “of its own violation [volition]”
Wage / Wager “wager [wage] solitary war”
Waive / Wave
Waiver / Waver “start to waiver [waver]”
Weak / Week
Wench / Winch “the box meant to wench [winch] goods up”
Wending / Winding
Went / When “groaned went [when] he”
Wet / Whet
Whereas / Wherein “but wherein [whereas] he expected a confrontation”
Whig / Wig
Whine / Wine “the puppy wined [whined]”
Whit / Wit “one wit [whit]”
Who / Whom
Who’s / Whose “who’s [whose] head” “Now whose [who’s] equating”
Winced / Winched “He winched [winced] when”
Winded / Wound “the peaking winded [wound] down”
Worse / Worst “to do her worse [worst]” “the worse [worst] thing”
Worth / Worthy
Wreak / Wreck “wrecked [wreaked] havoc”
Yoke / Yokel “thick-set yoke [yokel]”
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Yuri



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KayWebbHarrison wrote:
One punctuation lapse that muddles the flow of the story for me is missing or additional quotation marks. Sometimes it is almost impossible to make sense of who is saying what. Kay


This drives me crazy too, largely because it stops my reading. Grammar is so important to ensuring the flow of the story is correct. Other errors I tend to trip over are apostrophes in the wrong place and dangling prepositions. The better the book is the less I notice copy-editing problems. But I totally agree with Mark that good copyediting is the publishers responsibility!

There are books thought that are too long, or spend too much time on subplots, or have dangling plot points, or make factual errors. All these problems and many more can be fixed in the editing process but whether in these degenerate days Wink these are the responsibilities of publishers anymore I don't know? And how many of the books we think are good are good because of the collaboration between the author and the editor.

The closest I have ever come to writing to the publisher about a book was Brockmann's "Breaking Point" where East Timor was described as being part of Indonesia (which hadn't been true for several years) and in a state of civil war (the unrest there didn't occur until several years later). That really annoyed me.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1387

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aside from the “oops” list I already posted, there are a few grammatical problems that I notice often.
Use of the wrong pronoun has already been mentioned and I do see that fairly often. Any time you see “X and I did” or “happened to X and me”, just remove the “X and” part of the phrase to see if the correct pronoun was used.
I also see a fair number of the extra and missing quote marks and apostrophes already mentioned.
I see a LOT of lie/lay vs. lay/laid errors. Lay/laid takes an object, lie/lay doesn’t.
Another one I see often enough to list as a special irritant is “grit” used as past tense. “She grit her teeth” instead of “She gritted her teeth”. I see this often enough to suspect that some publishing houses think it is correct usage.
I also see “between” used too often with singular nouns.
Failure to keep singular & plural nouns & verbs in agreement is also fairly common, especially with long sentences.
I also see a lot of improper conjugation of verbs (using the wrong form). Example from a recent read: “I’d drank” should be either “I drank” or “I’d drunk”.
Extra words and missing words are also fairly common.
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veasleyd1



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Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Editing matters a lot to me. Mistakes in spelling, punctuation, and grammar are irritating (particularly when it comes to putting in the subjective when it should be the objective or when there's disagreement between the noun and pronoun). They don't irritate me enough to stop reading, though, if the story is good, because I know how hard it is to get rid of them. To quote Eric Flint in regard to a too-late-found typo in a Baen book, "The damned things are like cockroaches."

One of my constant sources of bewilderment is that when it comes to the objects of prepositions, almost no one makes mistakes with plural pronouns. I've never seen a case of "with we" instead of "with us." They don't do it with individual single pronoun. I've never seen a case of "with he" rather than "with him." But when authors double up on single pronouns, then there's an epidemic of "with he and I" instead of "with him and me" and parallel constructions.

Mistakes in regard to homonyms are becoming more and more prevalent. I'm tempted to ascribe a lot of those to the use of spell check without adequate thought on the matter.

I'm more irritated by continuity errors, though. I think Revelations is one of Janice Kay Johnson's best books -- honestly, by which I mean that I've probably read it twenty times. But I have two copies. One is clean. The other is marked up with a purple fine-point pen on such matters as how many married sisters the hero has, because it fluctuates from one reference to another. The same is true of references to how old he and his ex-wife were when they married, and how old their children were when they divorced. What's more, none of these references are crucial to the plot -- they are just throwaway sentences here and there.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As with the many others who stated here, I also don't enjoy seeing a sloppily-written book. On the other hand, I understand that occasionally some things slip through the cracks. I still rely a lot on my own personal visual proof of anything I've written; but, at the same time, realize that spellcheck and other such conveniences have literally taken over the editing field. Most of the time they work very well, but not always.

Now having said all that, if the book is interesting enough and, for the most part, is written fairly well, I can pass over the few errors that may occur. I don't like them, but they won't kick me out of the story. In fact, I congratulate myself that I'm still capable of recognizing a word misspelled or a word used incorrectly. It's something similar to those tests where you had to identify the sentence that contained incorrectly-used or misspelled words. Keeps you on your toes!
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it irritates me to see errors, especially when there are multiple errors in a book. One or two typos/misspellings might be considered almost inevitable, and in older books that were set in lead type you sometimes find "corrections" where the wrong line of type was replaced.
I do think that the number of mistakes per book is increasing, especially of the misused pronoun or wrong word variety. These are the errors spellcheck won't catch, and many publishers are saving money by cutting back on or even eliminating copyediting/proofreading. And it is probably a cost-effective cutback. Publishers may make money on Romance novels, but they probably don't make all that much per individual title, especially considering the short shelf-life so many have. And even readers who care about correct pronoun usage are unlikely to boycott a favorite author because the publisher is a pinch-penny.
I know I'm not.
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Niftybergin



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1094

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: How Much Does Editing Matter to You Reply with quote

Anne Marble wrote:
How much does editing matter to you? In particular, do you notice typos, etc. (There are multiple levels of editing, but usually, when people talk about editing problems, they mean copyediting or proofreading issues.) Have you ever contacted a publisher about problems you encountered?


How much does editing matter to me? A LOT!!! Yes, I've definitely noticed a lack of editing in many of the books I've read in the last 5 or so years. Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of punctuation -- it drives me nuts. I realize that no editor is going to catch everything, so I don't mind the occasional typo. But many of the books I've read recently have featured more than the occasional typo. And some authors are worse than others -- LKH is THE WORST! Seriously...do her editors simply not care? Do they, and LKH herself, simply have no pride in their finished product?

As a reader it makes me mad because books are professional products, or they should be. If I'm forking over my money, then I don't think it's unreasonable to expect books to be professionally edited and as error-free as possible with respect to the technical aspects of writing. As a former English major, the abundance of errors in published books irritates me because I don't think we should be writing to the lowest common denominator. You know how they say that if you build it, they will come? Well, I think writing is similar. If people are regularly exposed to "correct" speech or writing, they're going to pick a lot up through "osmosis." When I was a kid, I learned a lot about grammar and spelling and punctuation simply from reading. Even today, when I'm unsure about how to spell or punctuate something, I write it down because then the VISUAL helps me figure out the correct way to write or spell something, and I know this is something that has been reinforced in me over years of reading, of SEEING words in print in my books. In our IM and text-message culture, I think we owe it to our population to provide well-written published books. At least they way they may get a balance.

I have never contacted a publisher but I have seriously thought of red-marking a poorly-edited book and sending it back to the publisher. As for giving up on an author.... Well, that depends on how egregious the errors are and how consistently they appear in that author's books.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
As with the many others who stated here, I also don't enjoy seeing a sloppily-written book. On the other hand, I understand that occasionally some things slip through the cracks. I still rely a lot on my own personal visual proof of anything I've written; but, at the same time, realize that spellcheck and other such conveniences have literally taken over the editing field. Most of the time they work very well, but not always.

Now having said all that, if the book is interesting enough and, for the most part, is written fairly well, I can pass over the few errors that may occur. I don't like them, but they won't kick me out of the story. In fact, I congratulate myself that I'm still capable of recognizing a word misspelled or a word used incorrectly. It's something similar to those tests where you had to identify the sentence that contained incorrectly-used or misspelled words. Keeps you on your toes!





Yes, me too Tee, although it rips me right out of the book for a moment and I guess for just a few seconds, I resent it very much, but I get over it. Actually, I've seen errors in all genres, not just romance novels.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2508

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poor copy editing still irritates, but it's so endemic to all kinds of printed material anymore that I silently emend and read on. Sometimes I get a good chuckle from misplaced modifiers which create an unintended meaning, but for the most part, I'm inured to most of the errors. But I think authors must share the blame, especially when the error is a confusion of close spellings or close meanings or close sounds--e.g. adverse for averse.
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Niftybergin



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1094

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
Sometimes I get a good chuckle from misplaced modifiers which create an unintended meaning,


There's a cell phone commercial airing in the US right now that makes me think of your statement above, Dick. In the commercial, you've got a father who is up at Lover's Lane, knocking on all the windows of the parked cars as he looks for his daughter. The "punchline" of the commercial is that the next day, the missing daughter is going to be "known as the girl with the uptight father who no one wants to date." Or something like that. (I can't remember the exact wording.) They totally misplaced the modifier, and the way it's written, it suggests that no one is going to want to date the girl's father, when we know that what they're trying to say is that no one is going to want to date the girl BECAUSE of her father.

I have to roll my eyes everytime I see/hear the commercial.

ETA: I hunted the internet and found the exact wording. The commercial narrator tells the girl (who is off-screen the entire time): "you'll be the girl with the crazy father who no one wants to date. ..." And why would anyone want to date the girl's crazy father??
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Diana



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1044
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: How Much Does Editing Matter to You Reply with quote

Niftybergin wrote:

How much does editing matter to me? A LOT!!! Yes, I've definitely noticed a lack of editing in many of the books I've read in the last 5 or so years. Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of punctuation -- it drives me nuts. I realize that no editor is going to catch everything, so I don't mind the occasional typo. But many of the books I've read recently have featured more than the occasional typo. And some authors are worse than others -- LKH is THE WORST! Seriously...do her editors simply not care? Do they, and LKH herself, simply have no pride in their finished product?

As a reader it makes me mad because books are professional products, or they should be. If I'm forking over my money, then I don't think it's unreasonable to expect books to be professionally edited and as error-free as possible with respect to the technical aspects of writing. As a former English major, the abundance of errors in published books irritates me because I don't think we should be writing to the lowest common denominator. You know how they say that if you build it, they will come? Well, I think writing is similar. If people are regularly exposed to "correct" speech or writing, they're going to pick a lot up through "osmosis." When I was a kid, I learned a lot about grammar and spelling and punctuation simply from reading. Even today, when I'm unsure about how to spell or punctuate something, I write it down because then the VISUAL helps me figure out the correct way to write or spell something, and I know this is something that has been reinforced in me over years of reading, of SEEING words in print in my books. In our IM and text-message culture, I think we owe it to our population to provide well-written published books. At least they way they may get a balance.

I have never contacted a publisher but I have seriously thought of red-marking a poorly-edited book and sending it back to the publisher. As for giving up on an author.... Well, that depends on how egregious the errors are and how consistently they appear in that author's books.


I'm nodding my head vigorously in agreement with everything you say. I'm convinced that we're seeing the inevitable results of lowered education standards in the USA. In my high school mandatory English classes, we were required to learn the rules and grammar and punctuation. When my daughter (she's 30) came through high school there were no such requirements; in fact her school never even issued a grammar textbook. I bought her one and hammered it into her head. Since she had been exposed to nothing less than correct speech at home, it wasn't as much of a problem for her as it was for those who weren't, not to mention those for whom English is not their first language. And don't get me started on the shoddy shortcuts used in text messaging or "cute" spelling used in advertising.

So many books are infested with errors -- and I say it's too forgiving to call them typos -- that what were seeing is that many, many authors and editors simply don't know that they're making mistakes. That says it all about their education. Call me crazy, but I think it's just flat wrong when someone can succeed as a professional writer or editor without achieving basic literacy.

A wise woman once told me that correct speech and the ability to express yourself coherently is a quick intelligence test in the way a prospective employer may judge you. I think that applies to everyone you meet.

Edited to add: The pollution is just as bad in newspapers, including the venerable Washington Post I read every day, and virtually all mass media. It's my observation that it's the work of younger puppy writers and reporters. It's hard to believe that The Post has no experienced editors to clean up after them.
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lijakaca



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 341

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Editing is very important to me as well, though a few typos won't stop me from enjoying the book or buying another one from that author/publisher.

I notice typos and if they're of the type that Mark listed, it wrenches me out of the story and I have to mentally replace the words. It's the same with bad punctuation - a run-on sentence or a sentence that should have a semi-colon in it but instead has only a comma will make me stop and mentally revise it.

However, I actually find novels to be better than other print media - especially newspapers and magazines, where (I guess) deadlines are very tight and editing is minimal. I see so many errors and bad writing that it's hard for me to accept - in fact, it's stopped me from reading articles because the bad grammar/editing makes me suspicious of the author's credentials.

If they can't even write correctly when that's their job, why should I trust in what they have to say? And sometimes it's so bad that I can't TELL what they're trying to say. That's what I see as the real problem. A typo or misplaced comma might take me out of a story or article for a second, but that's fine. It's when I have a hard time figuring out the point being communicated that I really lose respect for the author/editor/source.

People don't seem to realize that when you don't pay attention to HOW you say something, the risk increases greatly that your audience won't get WHAT you're trying to say.

Umm, that turned into a rant, sorry. My main point is that in romances I haven't noticed many errors that are so bad they'd turn me off the author/publisher - then again, I stick with tried and true authors for the most part.
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