Friday, June 06, 2014

A quibble or two

kw: grammar, solecisms

The publisher of Octopus!, reviewed here yesterday, is Current, an imprint of Penguin. I noted 3 things that got past the editorial staff:

  1. p53, writing of one group of colleagues, "…a mix of born-and-bread Puerto Ricans…". The proper term is "born and bred", where "bred" means "raised". The hyphens are optional but not improper.
  2. p66, "A giant Pacific octopus, for example, can squeeze itself through anything smaller than its beak and braincase, …". The word "larger" should be used.
  3. p171, writing of someone "pouring over satellite images". One imagines this someone spilling his drink. The term is "poring over" meaning to study closely.
Errors like these were most likely in the author's text, received electronically. An editor is supposed to go over the text thoroughly, and even if most publishers still employ bespoke proofreaders, an educated editor ought to have caught these. In the past, the text would be received on paper, so one could then fault a typesetter for 1 and 3, but not 2. But in those days, a further proofreading would have been performed, which is now typically foregone.

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