Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Been there (plenty of times)

The wonderful essayist, Joseph Epstein, has an article at the Weekly Standard on the curse of typos. From the essay:
Such typos in my own writing as have been called to my attention have thus far been neither comical nor decisive in blocking my meaning. And for that I am grateful. I once heard a story—apocryphal or not, I do not know—that the poet and critic Delmore Schwartz wrote an elaborate interpretation of a T. S. Eliot poem based on a typo in the poem. A writer I know once sent me an email in which he recounted answering an annoying copy editor who queried the meaning of the word chapeau by drawing a line out into the margin of his proof and, in parentheses, noting, “(It’s a hat stupid),” only to find his correction appear in the finished text of his book: “ . . .  chapeau (it’s a hat stupid).”


RebeccaH said...

I never make typos. Really. Nevre.

Paco said...

Rebecca: That's one of the things I reely leik about you.

richard mcenroe said...

On copyeditors -- be careful about picking a fight with someone who gets the last word for a living.

TimT said...

When Auden was signing copies of his books he used to go through and correct all the errors contained within.

Though apparently in his earlier and less conservative years he was known to let the more fruitful typos/spelling mistakes stand as they were in his poems.