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reph
10-03-2005, 08:39 AM
My husband left Zen in the Art of Writing, a book of Ray Bradbury's essays, on the dresser. I started reading it casually. I found two typos in the first 29 pages, and they aren't big pages.

This is a slim Bantam paperback, cover price $6.99 US. For a book by someone as eminent as Bradbury, to be sold at that price, why can't a major publisher like Bantam do a better job of proofreading?

reph
10-03-2005, 12:00 PM
Two more typos: one on p. 69, another on p. 70. Also numerous mistakes in spelling and grammar. What happened to quality control?

NewB
10-03-2005, 12:53 PM
Oh! I am planning to buy this book over the weekend. How is the book, reph? Do you recommend it?

JennaGlatzer
10-03-2005, 01:07 PM
What kinds of typos? Bad ones?

rtilryarms
10-03-2005, 03:05 PM
What kinds of typos? Bad ones?

Uh, Jenna, this is Reph.....what isn't a bad one to her?

AdamH
10-03-2005, 06:49 PM
My husband left Zen and the Art in Writing, a book of Ray Bradbury's essays, on the dresser. I started reading it casually. I found two typos in the first 29 pages, and they aren't big pages.

This is a slim Bantam paperback, cover price $6.99 US. For a book by someone as eminent as Bradbury, to be sold at that price, why can't a major publisher like Bantam do a better job of proofreading?

Just a thought: But maybe the typos and grammatical errors were deliberate so you can learn how to look out for them. It is a book about the art of writing afterall. Then again, it could've been a lazy editing process, or the publisher figured that it was only Bradbury and think that the chances of mistakes were unlikely since he's a seasoned professional. So they didn't even look at it and sent it out into the world.
:) Just trying to keep Bradbury's genius intact. :Hail:

MarkButler
10-03-2005, 08:18 PM
He probably just didn't have the "Word" spellchecker.. I don kneed to spiel check because it handels everything for me.

Mark

Mac H.
10-03-2005, 10:27 PM
I think Reph would like Donald Knuth.

Knuth pays readers a reward fee if a reader finds a typo or mistake in his books. (Once a mistake was found, it was publically listed, and not worth anything until the next edition)

Most people who earn the reward to frame the $2.56 cheque rather than cash it. (His religious book on '3:16' earned $3.16 - a definite pay rise!)

If Reph wants to earn the finder's fee, Volume 4 of 'The Art of Computer Programming' is due out soon...

Mac

reph
10-03-2005, 10:37 PM
How is the book, reph? Do you recommend it?
I haven't got far enough into it to give more than an impression. Bradbury's style in this book is very emotional. A lot of what's there is a combination of memoir and pep talk: this is how I did it, I drew on my memories and spun stories around them, you can too.


What kinds of typos?

Samples:

"Is" for "it." "S" and "t" don't even look alike. Good grief!

"Spring" for "sprang" where the sentence requires past tense.

Sarita
10-03-2005, 10:42 PM
Reph,

One of my professors wrote the book for the class I'm taking. It's riddled with typos. I'd like to compile a list and give it to him at the end of the semester. (It is a new book, but still!) Should I?

JennaGlatzer
10-03-2005, 10:50 PM
I would, Sara... after you get your grade. ;)Seriously, Nomad Press is going into a third printing of Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer right now, and my editor just e-mailed me to ask if there were any typos or other corrections that readers have pointed out so they can fix them in time for this next printing. Some publishers do care!

TemlynWriting
10-03-2005, 10:52 PM
I started reading a semi-popular paperback a few nights ago when I couldn't sleep. I told myself that I was reading for pleasure, and was not going to deliberately look for typos. However, I found two within the first dozen or so pages. I couldn't help it--they jumped right out at me!

That's what I get for focusing on my proofreading/editing work lately.

Edited to add: I do believe mine is a Bantam, as well!

Edited again: This reminds me of when I had finished my film studies course in college. We had to analyze all sorts of films, and since then I can't watch most films without looking at more than just the enjoyment factor; I look into the cinematography, the details, the various elements of style throughout the film. I can't help but notice almost every close-up, and know that most filmmakers do close-ups for a reason. I study everything!

maestrowork
10-03-2005, 11:14 PM
I'm really dreading having my book in print... no matter how many times we'd gone through the ms. we still found a few nits here and there, but there came a time when we had to say, "We've got to get this to the printer." Sometimes even the best copyeditor and proofreader can't catch all the errors. And to the horror of the author and the publisher, sometimes these books need to get out in time to meet the market. It doesn't necessarily mean the publisher doesn't care though...

reph
10-04-2005, 12:34 AM
One of my professors wrote the book for the class I'm taking. It's riddled with typos. I'd like to compile a list and give it to him at the end of the semester.
Reason not to: it might offend him.
Reason to: he needs to know.
Reason not to: people should be paid for this kind of work.
Reason to: he might offer to hire you to check his future projects, or he might put in a word for you with his publishers if you want assignments from them.



Sometimes even the best copyeditor and proofreader can't catch all the errors.
I disagree. The best editor and proofreader would catch them. We don't go around saying "Even the best electrician will connect the doorbell to the switch for the kitchen light fixture once in a while."

paprikapink
10-04-2005, 01:37 AM
I disagree. The best editor and proofreader would catch them. We don't go around saying "Even the best electrician will connect the doorbell to the switch for the kitchen light fixture once in a while."

We don't have to. We can just ring the kitchen light when we need to make that point.

rich
10-04-2005, 01:39 AM
I believe the book is titled, "Zen 'in' the Art 'of' Writing." Think on it: you're finding typos in the pages yet you can't get the title right. Writng must be harder than you think.

paprikapink
10-04-2005, 01:40 AM
My husband left Zen and the Art in Writing, a book of Ray Bradbury's essays, on the dresser. I started reading it casually. ...

Reph's going to come after me with a hoe, but I just have to ask...isn't it "Zen and the Art of Writing"?

:Sun:

rich
10-04-2005, 01:43 AM
If I ever write a book, I'd like Reph to go over it before it escapes into print.

Yeshanu
10-04-2005, 02:57 AM
Seriously, Nomad Press is going into a third printing of Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer right now, and my editor just e-mailed me to ask if there were any typos or other corrections that readers have pointed out so they can fix them in time for this next printing. Some publishers do care!

Haven't found any yet, Jenna. But maybe you should get reph to take a look... :)

I remember my old LOTR trilogy (now sadly defunct) with the green, blue and pink covers. In Fellowship (I think it was Fellowship) two of the pages were transposed. I think page 216 was actually where page 243 was supposed to be (or something like that) and vice versa. It got so I didn't even notice -- when I got to that particular page, I just flipped to the correct page and continued reading. Come to think of it, wasn't that a Bantam edition as well?

Jamesaritchie
10-04-2005, 04:37 AM
Reph's going to come after me with a hoe, but I just have to ask...isn't it "Zen and the Art of Writing"?

:Sun:

No, "Zen in the Art of Writing" is correct. "Zen and" would be a very different thing.

paprikapink
10-04-2005, 04:42 AM
No, "Zen in the Art of Writing" is correct. "Zen and" would be a very different thing.

Ah-ha, that's what it is. It was the "...Art in Writing" part of Reph's original guess at the title that attracted my attention. That's why I italicized the "of" part of my version.

Reph, point that hoe at James. He's the one who noticed it's "in" not "and."

Jamesaritchie
10-04-2005, 04:44 AM
My husband left Zen and the Art in Writing, a book of Ray Bradbury's essays, on the dresser. I started reading it casually. I found two typos in the first 29 pages, and they aren't big pages.

This is a slim Bantam paperback, cover price $6.99 US. For a book by someone as eminent as Bradbury, to be sold at that price, why can't a major publisher like Bantam do a better job of proofreading?

Looks like a very good job of proofreading, to me. Not many typos at all, especially for a book that's actually a compilation. Rightly or wrongly, many editors assume previously published work has already been proofread to the point where it's safe to publish.

I'd say quit looking for typos are concentrate on content. If there's a better book on writing, or one more guaranteed to help a wannabe become a be, this one is it. If any book out there can actually help a person become a good writer, "Zen in the Art of Writing" is that book. Ignore the wisdom of this book at your own risk.

$6.99, my eye. It's worth $699, and would be even if it had typos on every page.

reph
10-04-2005, 05:09 AM
I believe the book is titled, "Zen 'in' the Art 'of' Writing." Think on it: you're finding typos in the pages yet you can't get the title right. Writng must be harder than you think.
Yeah, writng is pretty hard.


If I ever write a book, I'd like Reph to go over it before it escapes into print.
Just don't trust me to do the title page.


I'd say quit looking for typos are concentrate on content. If there's a better book on writing, or one more guaranteed to help a wannabe become a be, this one is it.
I wasn't looking for typos; that's the point. I saw four within 70 pages without trying. That means there may be more. Four is bad enough.

I really think Bradbury's mode of writing works for him but not for everyone. We all have childhood memories, and we can all make lists of nouns, but most people can't sit down and have a full-blown, publishable story spring forth from their fingers in two hours just by meditating on the day the circus came to town or a phrase like THE TRAPDOOR. His description of the process must leave something out. Of course, I haven't finished the book. Maybe later chapters supply the missing material.

maestrowork
10-04-2005, 05:29 AM
Bradbury's methods only work for certain people, himself included. The best advice anyone could give is: "Find your own methods." But then the book would be one-page long.

maestrowork
10-04-2005, 05:34 AM
I disagree. The best editor and proofreader would catch them. We don't go around saying "Even the best electrician will connect the doorbell to the switch for the kitchen light fixture once in a while."

I don't believe in absolutes, Reph. People make mistakes. People miss things. Human errors are a given. As a person who has worked in the IT business for years, I know how the BEST programmers still make mistakes, and the best QA engineers still miss defects, and the best software still goes out with bugs. That's just Murphy's Law. I don't for a second believe that the best proofreader or electrician wouldn't miss anything in their entire careers.

You're a damn good editor yourself, but I bet you make mistakes or miss things. At least once in a while.

rhymegirl
10-04-2005, 05:44 AM
I used to be an editor and proofreader at a greeting card company. We had to be very, very careful about proofreading, and not let spelling errors or typos get past us.

However....

Sometimes something DID go on to the next department with a mistake. And boy did we get in trouble when it was caught.

But all of us were only HUMAN. Humans can have a bad day.

reph
10-04-2005, 06:03 AM
People make mistakes. People miss things. Human errors are a given....I bet you make mistakes or miss things. At least once in a while.
Indeed: I got the book title wrong when I started the thread. Embarrassing! But you can be sure I'd have checked it, or typed with the book in front of me, if I were working for an employer or client rather than just posting. I also try to schedule real work when I'm not tired.

One or two typos in a book okay, everyone in editorial/production missed those. But one or two in a chapter? I do think copy editing and proofreading have gone downhill in the last 50 or 100 years. Old books have fewer mistakes.

maestrowork
10-04-2005, 06:12 AM
That I agree. One or two typos in the whole book (well, depending on the length of the book... if it's a 500-page book I'd probably loosen the standard a bit) is understandable. But two in one chapter only means the copy editor is either lazy or incompetent or absent.

Carole
10-04-2005, 06:16 AM
I disagree. The best editor and proofreader would catch them. We don't go around saying "Even the best electrician will connect the doorbell to the switch for the kitchen light fixture once in a while."
On the contrary, I have been elbows deep in many restorations of many historic homes in Knoxville. I have worked with master electricians who have been in the business for longer than I have been alive. They made mistakes. That's part of the reason for a punch list on a jobsite.

I have to go with the idea that all humans make mistakes...no humans are infallible.