Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Pesky Typo…

…and the Homophone that Snuck by L

Despite having been read and re-read by the author (me) too many times to count, and three beta readers, (one of them a retired editor) and three editors at the publishing house, there is a misspelling in one of my published books.  Nope, not telling where or what. But it served to remind me that only G-d is perfect.
I found a list of the most common typos, and you might recognize one or more as your recurrent oopsies. —
My no. #1 is in there. Even if I tried to post anonymously, I’d be recognized by it. For reasons only G-d knows, my “from” always insists on appearing as a “form.” Is this a neurological hick-up? I can’t rightly say. But, fortunately, it’s one I catch in proofreading. Well, most of the time.

The excellent advice to read out loud when proofing does not help with homophones. If anything, it tends to push them deeper into the basket. It sounds all right, and, phew, it must be.
Case in point: I scoured my current WIP. Then it was read by three beta readers, one of them an editor. It was the fourth reader who caught this one: BROACH and BROOCH are not the same thing. The first is a verb and the second, which is the one I intended, is an old-fashioned piece of jewelry often worn on a woman’s lapel.

OUCH. I just got stung by the pin of a brooch.
And I also witnessed, again, the elusiveness of perfection.


  1. Yup! Every Sunday we sing the Gloria and we profess Tu solus Dominus ... the perfection of God.

    You cannot let perfection be the enemy of the good. Happy revising. V.

  2. All I can say is that I'm much more tolerant of other people's typos than I used to be, because in the last ten years or so, my brain has played havoc with not only my typing, but even my handwriting. I *know* the difference between 'there' and 'their,' between 'your' and 'you're,' and between those countless other common homophones, and I used to write them correctly with no problem. But for some reason the wiring in my brain has gone haywire, and I regularly type the wrong word. So, yep! I've become verrry tolerant.

  3. My most common typo isn't on the list. When I type the name Chris, I almost always turn it into Christ.


  4. My daughter asks me why there are always typos in published novels. I tell her she should become an editor!

    Yes, you're right. Only God is perfect! And His Book has withstood through centuries.

  5. My problematic mis-typed word is FRO for FOR. Now that's a laugh!

  6. Yes, typos happen even after having a team of editors and proofreaders. Humans make mistakes because we aren't perfect.

  7. Hope you don't beat yourself up too much, Mirka. It happens. It happens. It happens. Not an excuse but editors and proofreaders are all humans. I think even my beloved Joyce Carol Oates has typos.

  8. It's annoying to see those once it's between covers, but what can you do then? I was upset the first time I found one, but my editor assured me there's at least one in pretty much every published book - which isn't that surprising if there are 50,000+ words, I suppose.

  9. Common typos are just that, common. Editorial misses that really bug me, though, are like these examples I've recently witnessed: a character suddenly has a different hair color or he(she) is carrying something that got thrown out in the previous chapter. Sometimes it seems the longer the book, the more this happens.