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Logged errors seen in books
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1407

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurred to me that since only 137 (6.7%) of the 2047 logged books have 10 or more copy-edits and 100 (4.9%) have 10 or more format problems, median (middle of sorted list) and mode (most frequent entry) might give a different view of quality without the heavy impact outliers have on the mean.
Median Mode edits Median Mode formats
All logged 2 0 0 0
All printed 2 0 0 0
All ebooks 2 0 1 0

1632, Inc. 18 4 17 1
Ace 2 0 0 0
Avon 2 0 0 0
Baen 3 0 3 0
Ballantine 1 0 0 0
Bantam 1 0 0 0
Berkley 2 0 2 0
Carina Press 2 0 0 0
Del Rey 2 0 3 0
Ellora's Cave 3 0 0 0
Fawcett 2 0 1 0
Harlequin 1 0 0 0
Harper 0 0 0 0
HarperCollins 2 0 0 0
HQN 2 0 1 0
Jove 2 0 0 0
Kensington 3 0 3 0
Leisure 3 0 0 0
Love Spell 2 0 1 0
Luna 1 1 1 0
Mira 2 0 2 0
Onyx 1 2.5 1 0
Orbit 1.5 0 1 0
Pocket 2 0 0 0
Random House 0 0 0 0
Roc 1 1 0 0
Samhain 2 0 0 0
Signet 1 0 1 0
Silhouette 1 0 0 0
Smashwords 4 0 1 0
St. Martin's 1 0 1 0
Tor 2 0 0 0
Warner 2 0 1 0
Zebra 4 0 0 0

1950s 3 0 3 0
1960s 2.5 0 2 0
1970s 1 0 0 0
1980s 1 0 0 0
1990s 2 0 0 0
2000s 2 0 0 0
2010s 3 0 2 0
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2511

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have some of the most impressive data I've seen in a while. But, truthfully, I can't interpet your last post. I'm lost.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1407

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry if I didn't explain clearly enough. First, the data in the last post is all one table in 3 parts (overall books, by publishers, by decades). I write my posts in a Word document, then copy & paste to the board. The original of the above post has the numbers in readable columns because I spaced the data in a Courier font, but the spacing got lost on the board. If you copy the post to a document & set the font, the columns should be readable.
The first number in each line is median copy-edits.
The second number in each line is the mode of copy-edits.
The third number in each line is median format errors.
The fourth number in each line is the mode of format errors.
The earlier post (on 9/10) had given a lot of means ("averages" when speaking non-technically).
I decided to also check medians and modes because they aren't affected by a few really bad cases like means are, but they have their own problems. The medians and modes make the overall error level look low.
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1670

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a different sort of copyediting error, but in How to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins, the heroine has injured her left foot on page 180, but the injury is said to be to her right foot on page 194.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1407

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I also see continuity errors like that. I didn't write any up in this thread because they usually need more explanatory context than simple word substitutions.
I have seen errors with eye color, described clothing, physical positions, names of characters in scenes, etc. A story I read a couple days ago had the last name of the heroine wrong the first two times she was mentioned (it referred to the youngest Lewis sister as a Smith--she is a Smith after she marries, if she takes her husband's name).
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Diana



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1044
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this golden oldie review sets the bar for dealing with error-ridden books.

http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=3366

Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

I knew I was in trouble when, on page 3, Chad Delaney rode "his spirited black stallion down the rutted road, noting the vast number of saloons on the main drag." Main drag? In 1882 Wyoming? Sounds like 1955 Bikerville. Then, on page 6 - three pages later! - Chad "patted the big gray gelding, his favorite…" Not only a horse of a different color, but somewhere on that trip down the "main drag," poor horsy lost some very important body parts! I can certainly see why he was no longer so spirited.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diana wrote:
I think this golden oldie review sets the bar for dealing with error-ridden books.

http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=3366

Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

I knew I was in trouble when, on page 3, Chad Delaney rode "his spirited black stallion down the rutted road, noting the vast number of saloons on the main drag." Main drag? In 1882 Wyoming? Sounds like 1955 Bikerville. Then, on page 6 - three pages later! - Chad "patted the big gray gelding, his favorite…" Not only a horse of a different color, but somewhere on that trip down the "main drag," poor horsy lost some very important body parts! I can certainly see why he was no longer so spirited.




Haha! Most of us remember laughing about that one. It really was a Horse Of A Different Color. And different other stuff as well.
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limagal



Joined: 17 Jul 2010
Posts: 94
Location: lima, peru

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impressive lists, Mark! I never made a list but lately I tend to underline errors or make footnotes in books. I did learn "lay and lie" usages in school but have to think a moment to use them correctly because almost no one seems to use them right when speaking - especially when visiting home again. I tend to also notice a lot of homophones - one was "waste" when it should have been "waist" and sometimes fingers just typed letters out of order, as in "lions" instead of "loins." I also have noted people's eyecolor changing from one page to the next, but the strangest thing that I have found - and commented on a few weeks ago on another thread - was the hero who went over to the dead body of the baddie and pulled out his sword and wiped it off, but a few pages later he again goes over and pulls the sword out of the body. I can't imagine that the author or editors never saw that one. I had not realized that the hero had had the advantage of being ambidexterous and using two swords - no wonder he was able to kill the villain! lol
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1407

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not very many books these days add multiple new entries to my master list of "oops" words, but one I read yesterday did. The two best are:
"not intermittently [unremittingly | irredeemably] evil"
"imbibed [imbued] the circle"
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1407

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even though this thread was mostly about repeated errors, I also notice new-to-me errors. The supply of unique word errors never runs out. These are all new to my log from reading so far this month:
an oak [oat] cake
a slur [blur] of dark greenery and bright stars
before he disclosed [discovered]
difficult to think of little [much] else
darken into anther [another] color
catalyst held there in suspense [suspension]
I started keeping a list of "oops" words even before I started the book-specific log of errors seen. That list now has over 700 entries, making it a bit too long to post.
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aiven



Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish more e-authors hired editors/proofreaders.

The number of errors in professionally edited e-books is outrageous. Sometimes I want my money back.

I also hate the term "beta reader." Some authors seem to think that having a "beta reader" is the same as hiring a proofreader. Not so, authors. Not so.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1407

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday I ran into one of the odd congruences that we can sometimes find. For the second time this month, I found "jettison" (throw or drop from a ship, abandon, discard) mistakenly used instead of "jet" (travel by using jets). Yesterday it was in Skinny Dipping by Connie Brockway (Onyx ebook 2008):
144/1/3 jettisoned [jetted] him into
Earlier in the month it was in Lord's Fall by Thea Harrison (Berkley Sensation ebook 2012):
44/5/2 jettisoning [jetting] into the stratosphere
These are the first instances of this error I've logged since I started recording errors almost 8 years ago, yet somehow in the same month I managed to read two books with the errors published 4 years apart. I wonder how many more I will start seeing now. The meanings of the words are so far apart I wondered how the error could happen once, much less with two different authors from two different publishers.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading a batch of interconnected 99-cent e-books by a variety of authors. They are not a series, but rather vaguely interconnected (partly because of a Christmas theme of Lord and Lady Kringle's annual ball; partly because the books listed in the back of the first one that I came across led me to more of the titles, even when they didn't feature Lord and Lady Kringle).

Some of them are quite good, but all of them are miserably edited (petty coat for petticoat, for example). The errors were such a multitude that it would be a big project to log them, but I will file a notice that I found them very annoying -- incomplete sentences, sometimes without subjects; confusion of "may" and "might"; wrong words, such as "absolutions" rather than "ablutions" when the heroine was going to wash her face, etc.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the "that's not the word you really want" category, found within the past day, in books by Alice Sharpe from Harlequin:

"retribution" where the sentence calls for "restitution"

"disparaging" where the sentence calls for "disparate"

"formally" where the sentence calls for "formerly"
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2511

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Similarly, the substitution of "tact" for "tack" has become nearly universal, as in "he took a different tact in his next effort to convince her."
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