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!
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.
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.
Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble
Trouble 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.
Lori 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.
I’m already digging into Lori’s book. How about you?