Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not quite the right word, book 2

Hee, hee. I just realized - when I said that I couldn't put the "silk robe" for Number One Son "into the same category", I hadn't actually posted this yet...

Anyway, I pointed out couple of mischosen words in the Book of Dreams vol 1, but said that otherwise it was a pretty engaging story. I'm nearly done with the second one, and - while it's still fairly engaging, I mean I am still reading it - it's really crammed with errors. Again, though, let me say there's nothing wrong with the actual writing, just the, uh, ... writing?

There are the common or garden variety typos, missing commas, and misplaced apostrophes
there were Rembrandts and Mozart's out there
the fatal possession/contraction homophones (which I have been known to write myself, but hopefully not let through the draft stage!)
"You're car or mine?"

There's was a blind date set up by friends
and plenty of subjectless participle clauses that pick up the wrong subject, for instance:
Hitting the woman in the face with the back of my gloved hands, her words instantly stopped.

I was met at the door by a gentleman collecting invitations. Showing him mine he simply greeted me.

Stomping the break peddle, our car came to a sliding halt
That last one also shows us two of the homophone problem, also seen here
(of a bomb) "Can we diffuse it?"

Apparently my handy work had been noticed.
Then there are the trickier ones like these:
Carson looked up ... to see his opponent advancing for the coup d'gras.

Complete with red hair and beard and pointy ears and hat, I felt like poking his nose through the hole in the door.
The first being a complex spelling error based on American pronunciation coupled with a very wrong d' (the d' only comes in front of vowels in French), and the second is a combination of a subjectless phrase and the not-quite-right word - one doesn't poke someone else's nose, through a door especially; one pokes at or gives a poke to or (more likely) tweaks someone else's nose. This sentence sounds like she wants to take his nose and poke it through the hole in the door, rather than reach through the door and grab at it.

And then there are things like this, which I have a hard time categorizing:
I dressed quickly, pulling on clothes without looking and hoping I didn't look like I had been dressed by a color-blind five-year-old. I also hoped my bra didn't show through my white sweater. Black underwear was all I had been able to find in the lingerie drawer.
That's just not well thought out. Why a color-blind five-year-old? Especially why bring colors into it if the sweater is white? White goes with whatever color her pants could have been. And if she didn't look, how does she know she has a white sweater and black bra? Not to mention how could black underwear be "all I was able to find" if she wasn't looking? And if she has time to stand around worrying about that before her ride shows up, surely she has time to pick up a different sweater.

Summing up ... the Jacksons need a copy editor. It's too bad, because they know how to spin a story.

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At 11:31 PM, April 19, 2011 Anonymous Anonymous had this to say...

The d' only comes in front of vowel SOUNDS in French -- thus, e.g., "table d'hôte" (with a silent "h"):

"coup d'gras": striking a target with some foie gras? ;-)))

Did the Jacksons self-publish this "Book of Dreams" perchance?

At 5:55 AM, April 20, 2011 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Indeed, vowel sounds, like "an" in English (an hour, a one-day course).

They did. Not to say I haven't seen typos in professionally, house-published books, because I have. But I don't remember such a quantity before.

Also, the ones of hers alone that I've read don't suffer like this. It leads me to wonder if he's doing the actual writing on these - maybe she should look over the manuscripts if they can't get a real proofreader?

At 8:58 AM, April 20, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Oops, that was my comment above. Sorry, I forgot to type in my name before hitting "Publish your comment."


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