Guest Post – Say WHAT?

Today, I have a guest on my blog. Please welcome, Lori MacLaughlin! She’s always got something to celebrate, and I’m happy to have her here today. Take it away, Lori!

Thank you, Loni, for having me as a guest!

Say What??

It’s no secret that typos are the bane of a writer’s existence. They are for me, anyway. Running across a typo while reading jolts me out of the story every time. While reading The Wide-Awake Princess, a middle grade novel by E. D. Baker, some time ago, I encountered this line: “She had nearly reached the ground when a pain of strong arms wrapped around her waist and lowered her the rest of the way.” The unfortunate typo ruined what should have been a romantic moment.

What’s worse is when I find them in my own writing. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I read through my stories, I still find things wrong. At least I’m not alone in this dilemma. An Internet search on typos turned up quite a list of published literature with similar mistakes, ranging from simple misspellings and misuses of homophones to incorrect or missing words.

Some examples:
From the Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, 1961: “Through the cracks in the shutters strange figures peer out at me…old women with shawls, dwarfs, rat-faced pimps, bent Jews, midinettes, bearded idots.”

From The Fiction by H.P. Lovecraft, 2008: “…our vessel was made a legitimate prize, whilst we of her crew were treated with all the fairness and consideration due us as navel prisoners.”

From The Queen’s Governess by Karen Harper, 2010: “In the weak light of dawn, I tugged on the gown and sleeves I’d discarded like a wonton last night to fall into John’s arms.”

From the first printing of The Road by Cormac McCarthy, 2006: “A moment of panic before he saw him walking along the bench downshore with the pistol hanging in his hand, his head down.”

Probably the most famous typo ever — from a 1631 edition of the King James Bible (from then on known as the Wicked Bible): “Thou shalt commit adultery.”

And then there are the made-up words:
From Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, 1934, second edition: A slip reading “D or d, cont./density” was given to an editor with the intent to add “density” to the existing list of words that the letter “D” can abbreviate. However this was misread and a new word, “dord,” was created along with an explanation that it was a synonym for density. The offending word was not discovered and removed until around 1940.

Typos are everywhere, not just in literature. Ads, signs, newspapers — the list goes on…





Typos can leave your reader rolling on the floor. As a writer, I would prefer not to have my work remembered this way. A word to the wise I’ve learned well: have your work proofread. Good proofreaders are worth their weight in gold.

Sources/Image credits:

Abe Books | Hubspot | Cheezburger

Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble

Lady, Thy Name Is TroubleTrouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos… and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.

Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


Lori L MacLaughlinLori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She’s been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.

She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids’ shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.

When she’s not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.

Website/Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

I’m already digging into Lori’s book. How about you?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

34 thoughts on “Guest Post – Say WHAT?

  1. Oh, I hear that! A funny typo I read once was about parting red “lips” – supposed to romantic, but they wrote “hips”!

  2. I hate finding typos in my writing! Although I think I would definitely hate it more if it was something already published.

  3. Thanks again, Loni, for hosting me!

  4. Not sure which one is funnier – the one from the Bible or the newspaper misspelling its own name.
    I hate typos. And I’m pretty sure my books still have them.

    • I hate them, too. I wish I knew how to make a program that would automatically fix all typos.

  5. What I hate the typo that makes people laugh in the middle of a serious scene. The “wonton” one made me think of that. One good thing is that readers auto-correct a lot of typos. Well, that’s the reason behind them in the first place. Line editors have a special talent and deserve lots of praise for those “clean” manuscripts.

  6. Lots of fun examples here, Lori. Thanks for sharing. This is why I never try to proofread something when I’m tired. You really have to be on the ball!

  7. Um…I just commented on two blog posts and each comment I left had a typo. A blog post comment. This unnerved me. O_o So, I sort of get what you’re saying. Hey, that sign about learning? AWESOME.

    • That’s funny. (No offense meant.) I always have to re-read everything I type because I’m afraid I’m going to do that. It’s so easy to do. The mind moves more quickly than the fingers can type.

  8. Certainly makes me feel better whenever I find a typo in my yet-to-be-published works.

    • I’m glad to know I’m in good company with my typos. And like Sarah Foster said, it’s much better to find the typos before the work is published.

  9. And anyone who says they can proofread their own work is delusional 😉 We all need a second pair of eyes on our work before it goes out into the world.

  10. Typos are a pain, both as a writer and reader. They make me go doh, since I feel like I edit endlessly. When I’m reading, they can disturb the flow.

    • I agree, they are a pain. And no matter how well I think I proofread, I still find the pesky things.

  11. Love that newspaper one! I’m amazed by the number of typos I find, even after I’ve combed through my writing 47 million times. Other eyes are a must!

    • Yes, it’s amazing how you can read right over them and miss them completely.

  12. That learning sign is awesome. Heh. And I’ve found plenty of typos in my published works. I just take a breath and hope I don’t get a lot of detailed readers.

    • It’s frustrating when that happens, but I think sometimes they go unnoticed. The brain sees what it’s supposed to be.

  13. I SOOO get this! I’ve had my latest novel looked at by at least twenty CP’s, then an editor, them me a few more times, another CP and me again and I still found missing words and typos.

    It’s part of OUR WORLD…. Sadly. LOL

  14. Congratulations, Lori!! I hate typos in my own work, but I do love reading them in posts like this. It’s like the writing version of outtakes 🙂 “like a wonton” totally had me cracking up!

    • Thanks, Liz! Yes, the blooper reels are always so funny. “Wonton” cracked me up, too.

  15. What a funny guest post! Typos are evil. I can proof my stuff 100 times and I swear when I close the doc, gremlins sneak in there and make new ones for my readers to find. Argh! I love the book blurb, and I’m wishing you much success! 🙂

    • Thanks, Lexa! Little gremlins running around creating typos — that’s a great image. Made me laugh. 🙂

  16. […] Loni Townsend                                               Typos: […]

  17. I hate that. It is the same way too, no matter how many times I read someone else will find something wrong—then you do it again, boom another typo despite that. I can tell you Lori if you had typos, when I read your novel I never noticed them. I was into the story. Good Job!
    I love your space. What a wonderful room. My go to in my toys is Star Wars, but I do love LOTR too and have a few of those toys and collectibles too.

    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  18. Ok, well I did not realize I had copied my last post on previous blog too, so so sorry! *Sticks tongue out @ self*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.