The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Erratum, errors and mistakes

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Typos happen. Egad. 
Witness the errors that wind up in my blogs!

Johannes Gutenberg laid out the first page of type ever, printed it and set fire to the plate when he saw the typo in the page. And so started a tradition of typos. Being in journalism for a quarter century or so, I have certainly made plenty of typos.

We newspaper folks like to say we include typos in the paper so people who like to complain can enjoy the paper too.

Typos even happen in books considered so important that typos, well, they should not exist.

John Lee, former editor of the Apalachicola Times, once put it in perspective. A typo in a newspaper is a permanent error in the historical record of that community. He pointed to an old error in one of the Times. That error was not a typo, it was a flat mistake. The country of origin of a group of settlers were misidentified.

"Now, it's that way forever," he said.

Indeed it is. A correction appeared in the next edition of the Times, but the damage was done. The error has since been repeated, magnifying that mistake.

Reference books should be held to a higher standard than other printed material. A typo in a reference manual is a far more serious matter than a typo in a paperback romance novel.

I recently got the 104th Shooter's Bible as a Christmas gift. The book pretty much is a Bible to the gun enthusiast. Excited, I sat down to read it. Just a cursory glance, not a detailed reading at all, turned up more than a dozen errors. Some typos, some flat out stupid mistakes.

Upset, I fired off an angry letter to SkyHorse publishing, expecting my letter to be File 13'd. Imagine my surprise when 2 days later I got a personal reply from the editorial director at SkyHorse apologizing for the errors and offering to send me the 105th Shooter's Bible for free.

Jumped on that one!

Arrived yesterday. Took it home after the BOE meeting, I sat down to peruse. Once again, only a very cursory once-over. Not a detailed read at all. 15+ errors in the rifle section alone. Typos were in the minority. The majority were flat mistakes, errors of fact. In a reference and research publication like Shooter's Bible, this is not acceptable.

So, I fired off another missive to SkyHorse. Dunno if I will get a reply. Gonna read some more sections and send in more reports of typos.

UPDATE: I have heard back from the editorial director. He didn't get the second list of errata and asked I resend it.

No comments:

Post a Comment