Friday, May 28, 2010

Spelling bloopers

I had a recent reading jag. Book, book, book. One thing I can tell you is spellchecker doesn't do it. Nope. Spellchecker only checks to make sure a word is spelled correctly. It doesn't check to see if the author is using the correct word.

Given that most of the books I read in my speed demon race were erotic romances, some words showed up with distressing regularity. My top pick?

Shutter. She shuttered as his fingers touched her. Uh-huh. I think not. A shutter is a wooden cover for a window. I deeply suspect that the young woman in this case probably shuddered.

The team won several awards and brought home nine metals. What--uranium, copper, aluminum? No? Ah, the author no doubt meant medals.

The restaurant served a variety of hot entrees and tempting deserts. Hmmm. Mongolia, Sahara, Painted...right?

Joe was admitted to the hospital with gang green. Interesting diagnosis.

His wife went to see the chef of surgery. Wonder what the chef was serving? Maybe some of those gang greens...

As long an the author types an actual word, whether it's the correct word in context or not, spellchecker will give it the go ahead. The difference between shit, shot and shut is considerable. So it is with virgin and vagina. And the list is endless.

These are the types of errors a slow careful read should catch well before the book is submitted, let alone edited or published. I cannot tell you how many errors I picked up while reading a dozen books in the last few days.

What is your favorite spelling blooper?



  1. As I am the queen of typos I can be no judge on this...

  2. A book I read recently had the 'shutter' one in it; we must have read the same one:)

    I keep telling my daughter that spell check will NOT catch 'too bee or knot two be' but she continues to roll her eyes at me.

    What's happened? I remember spelling words all the way into high school! Now they stop in the 8th grade???

  3. "could of"
    "would of"
    "should of"
    instead of
    "could've," short for "could have," etc.
    drives me nuts for some reason.

  4. OMG! These are the things editors are supposed to catch!

  5. The first thing that popped into my mind when I read this is.. I can not believe how bad I am at catching typos! If someone writes 'blac' but the sentence obviously requires the word 'black' that's what I read. Every time. That leads me to believe that whether or not you see the error has something to do with the way you process information.

  6. Yep. Frequently, our eyes just scan right by the words. I find the more time between readings, the more I catch and also, I find changing the size or type of font is also a big help.

  7. If you had any spare time I'd suggest you consider becoming an editor.

  8. I don't know whether to say oh my! or LOL.

    Those errors would pull a lot of people out of the stories.

  9. My two nemesises are sit/set and affect/effect.