Here’s to the typo

I have to raise a glass in toast to my enemy, the typo. My darling man finished the formatting, and got an ebook sent to me for one last check that the formatting looks good on kindle and kindle app, with no further glitches and with all the things I actually meant to be in italics still italicized.

I open the book, and what do I see?

“adn” instead of “and” staring back at me.

15+ rounds of editing, over six weeks. Multiple beta readers. More editing inputting those changes. All this time, it survived, hanging in there, fighting off all attempts to correct the spelling and grammar.

For some reason, when I changed format from Document on the screen to ebook on kindle, I could catch that and a few other typos, a lack of closing quote on a line of dialogue here, an improper verb tense there…

I killed it, of course. But I’ve got to grudgingly respect the little sucker.

And wonder what I didn’t catch…

Well, it should be uploaded and pressing publish today, so I guess we’ll see!


  1. I found one in the heading of the first chapter as I was looking at Amazon’s previewer. Awkward!

    *raises Polish teacup* Here’s to the typo. It keeps us humble and keeps copy editors and eagle-eyed readers employed.

    1. But some of them are more egregious than others. From the latest Wearing the Cape book, Repercussions, Chapter 20:

      “Blackstone poured the single fifth of scotch he allowed himself for the day.”

      1. Somehow, the whole notion of restraint got lost somewhere in that one (which is repeated for every reference to the drink in the chapter).

      2. Unless the reference is to Blackstone’s background as a Marine, in which case it might still be there. 😎

    2. I’ve discovered that I have an annoying tendency to type letters from the next word when I should be typing the current word in the sentence. That, and I’ll type backwards. “eht” has been seen on this computer…

      1. I forget which chat/comms program it was that allowed a personal autocorrect. I do recall seeing ‘teh’ get corrected to ‘the’ more times than I care to think about.

  2. That reminds me of a story a fellow writer shared on a writing site I frequented. It was the story of a little apostrophe that had snuck into an it’s which should have been an its. The little apostrophe knew it shouldn’t be there and was sure to get evicted with the proofreading. But it was overlooked, and overlooked again by the beta reader, and so on. After a while the little apostrophe saw it as challenge to hide well enough to remain. 😀

    I’m pretty sure the Academy yearbook I created and which is now in print, will come back with one glaring typo that will stare at me evilly once I open an exemplar. Happens every year, despite a proof reader and a copy edit. We call them Tippfehlerteufelchen in German, and wee devils they are.

    1. Somewhere I have a cartoon postcard I got in Mainz of the devil sneaking away from a disgruntled-looking statue of Gutenberg. The devil has just added an error to the inscription below the statue. The caption is something like “Der Echte Druckteufel,” or loosely “The first printer’s devil.”

    1. Because Anchorage Daily News, now renamed Alaska Dispatch News – ADN.

      *sigh* I should figure out how to un-dictionary it.

    2. Well, somebody used “an” instead of “am” and spell-check thinks both are spelled correctly. 😀

  3. I’m a bit dyslexic, so proof-reading is hard for me. I make many passes through each piece over months, and every time I do there’s new glitches to stamp on.

    My favorites are chapter headings or even book titles spelled wrong. You see the title for MONTHS and never think “gee, ‘and’ is not spelled ‘adn’ is it?”

  4. Had a doubled word survive umpteen passes of multiple people… one FINALLY noticed it 20 years later. It may be there yet, as I cannot remember whether I fixed it. [headdesk]

    My favorite, tho, was when I managed to miss… Fart Lauderdale.

    1. Ever wanted to go into a grocery store, get a half-dozen eggs, and use a marker to number them:

      1 2 3
      5 6 7

      and hope the person at the register opens the carton and misses the missing ‘4’ for a bit?

      I haven’t done it.

  5. Gremlins. Only explanation.

    Between the first draft and the first revision they are their worst, draining out reasons, vividness, coherence, grammar, and much more, but they persist even when driven to typos.

  6. Just be glad it was innocuous.

    My favorite was years ago, in the Troy Record when I was in graduate school. They had a Sunday front-page article covering a study on the sense of smell in humans.

    Since this obviously was a slow news day, you think they would have had time to get it right.

    Nope. There was a series of bullet points, halfway through, covering minor findings of the study. One of them read as follows:

    “During the course of the study, it was discovered that pregnant women suffered from a diminished sense of small, contrary to what had previously been believed.”

    1. Spell check is wonderful, but insufficient.

      Someone once asked me to read through a paper before submitting for grading. Was very glad, as I tripped over a single-letter omission: “pubic humiliation.”

      1. Had a student taking a test on line. OttoCorrupt was left on, and so I got a PG-13 discussion of a man who was supposed to be “an _important_ South American political figure.” Except Otto decided that the “r” was unneeded. Unintended humor, especially when talking about this particular gentleman.

  7. Years ago, I had a handy little word processor “add on” that would list every unique word it found in a document (WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS – MANY years ago…).

    You had to “approve” every word that it found, or change it, which would then be changed every place it was found in the document. (Second time around, after edits and expansion, it only listed new words.) Very handy to get rid of the “adn” kind of typos, and some help for consistency in proper names. You could copy it and attach it to a different document, which kept dictionary creep down. This was college days; I used a different list for papers in different subjects that gave me a dictionary for each “kind” of paper.

    Even if I still had that, it obviously wouldn’t help when I foolishly name two characters in the same story “Ronald” and “Renaud.” Few weeks ago. Still not sure I have them completely untangled yet.

    Word has custom dictionaries, of course – but they all start from the built-in default. I’ve never found an easy way to kill off a word that is in that part of it.

    1. “Even if I still had that, it obviously wouldn’t help when I foolishly name two characters in the same story “Ronald” and “Renaud.” Few weeks ago. Still not sure I have them completely untangled yet.”

      Could be worse….

      “Mrs Sylvester McMonkey McBrave
      Had 23 kids and she named them all Dave”.


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