Every Book and Magazine with Typos/Errors?

I am reading Face by Alexie and on page 35 there is a sentence that needs indenting. This a game, finding these tiny errors, locating them in magazines, canonical works, some huge publisher.

One part of me—the part editing The Broken Plate and about to teach about copy-editing—is paranoid. Many magazines feel less (or no) errors are related to the quality of the publication.

Some feel like a typo in a book is a human gesture, a beautiful mole, unsymmetrical ears, the smudge in the painting, the flaw that makes the thing.

How much is on the editor, the writer?

How closely do you look at your galleys (if you get them)?

Do you have a technique to catch errors? The writer, too near, as the worst diagnostic?

War story? One time a magazine had my word “years” changed to “ears.” That smarted a bit. Years, ears…


(image by Mr. Eggers)

Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes / 69 Comments
January 4th, 2010 / 9:47 am