Mighty Red Pen

April 19, 2010

This typo leaves a bad taste

Filed under: Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 7:10 pm
Tags: ,

A typo that marred a print run of Pasta Bible is causing Penguin Group Australia a bit of heartburn.

It’s any editor’s worst nightmare: a typo so horrible that it’s going to cost the publisher over $18,000. In this case, a recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto that was meant to be seasoned with freshly ground black pepper instead called for freshly ground black people.

Well-documented that MRP is a bit sensitive about certain issues (um, giant cloud of volcanic ash, anyone?) after reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, so this typo suggesting that you sprinkle freshly ground human on your pasta made me queasy for more than one reason.

Over at You Don’t Say, John McIntyre uses this error as an opportunity to explore how typos such as this one even happen in the first place. (As a for instance, I myself was recently mortified to find a typo in a publication I worked on that had been reviewed by no fewer than five additional pairs of eyes). Read his comments.

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Bonus MRP moment: Totally unrelated, but you might be amused by An Ivy League Interpretation of Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok,” featuring Princeton poet Paul Muldoon.

1 Comment »

  1. Ouch! When I was a law student, I used to take a certain amount of pleasure in notifying lecturers (who were the authors of the compulsory $100 text book) about the multitude of typos throughout their work. However, in saying this, none of them were quite as damaging as the one you’ve discussed. Ouch!

    Comment by Debbie Moore — May 6, 2010 @ 12:27 am | Reply


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