Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Burying Under the Covers

In the last few hours I've noticed numerous errors in postings on Facebook. One particular comment string has a funny selection. The thing is... what author aspires to be the focus of such a string? Really? Employ a competent editor!

Some of the examples:

culvert operations~~covert=secret, culvert=usually a concrete tunnel beneath a roadway. I suppose a spy could have a covert operation in a culvert.

burying under the covers~~bury=placing an item in the ground (usually a dead body), burrow=digging a hole or space. So making a warm space under the covers could work.

carpenter tunnel~~carpenter=wood worker, carpel=a specific location on the wrist. However, a carpenter could have carpel tunnel.

sin drone~~not quite sure where to begin with this one. If one has carpel tunnel, it's a syndrome.

And my favorite, shuttering in passion~~shuttering =protective covers for windows. It should be shuddering= trembling with passion. Unless...the writer was intending something like 'banging like a shutter in high wind' with passion...

Now, folks might initially find the above examples amusing. But if they aren't incorporated in the writing on purpose, then who wants to be laughed at? If the writer isn't aiming to be humorous AND doesn't understand the differences in meaning, then it's best to HIRE an editor that does understand. None of the above examples will be picked up by spell check because spell check doesn't determine definitions. All of the examples are spelled correctly. But they're the WRONG WORDS.

An individual I critiqued a long while ago had a manuscript riddled with such errors. And when I pointed them out, she brushed me off. She didn't believe it was that important. I'm a reader. And it's important to me. When a manuscript has numerous errors like the examples, then I know the author A) doesn't care enough to learn the definitions, and B) doesn't believe their readers are worth the effort to produce a quality product.

C) I won't buy any more of their books.



  1. I'm in two minds about this. When it comes to everyday vernacular between people in the street etc, I don't believe correct word usage is always necessary because language is fluid and evolves through fads and mistakes. However, when it comes to the written word for sale, yeah, get it right. But, ebookland as we know is riddled with fast, haphazard written stories designed to make an even faster buck so I'm not surprised the chick you critiqued didn't care.

    1. AND after re-reading this post, I discovered an error. It should be "HIRE an editor WHO does understand"...

      I don't worry about verbal speech. But text-speak (especially in an e-mail) makes me crazy. Certainly, it has no place in a book. And life goes on.