People Make Typos; People Can Stop Them!

Joseph Stiglitz has written an excellent article, The Price of Inequality over at Project Syndicate. He argues that economic inequality makes the economic system less stable. I’ve been seeing this point argued a lot more over the past year. It should come as no surprise that I find the argument compelling. You should really check out the article. It isn’t very long—maybe 1000 words.

I don’t want to talk about it, though. Something else is on my mind because of a line in Stiglitz’s article, “There are market economies that are doing better, both in terms of both [sic] GDP growth and rising living standards for most citizens.”

This is the kind of error that one sees all the time online. You will find it all over this site, for example. And you’ll find worse. Earlier today, in the article A Really Big Problem, I wrote, “And as ridiculous as there [sic] opinions are, they do care about these young people.” Ouch! But I forgive myself just as I forgive Stiglitz. It’s online; the turn around time is fast. Peephole except that they’re wheel bee Eros.

The problem is with books. But not just any books.

In the world of small press publishing, writers know that editors exist to introduce errors. Galleys are never provided. Corrections are never made between printings. (Well, sometimes the price is increased.) People should take pity on us—the toilers in the $1000 advance ghetto.

The problem is with books from major publishers. I have gotten to the point where I’m impressed if I note only 5 errors in a major book. End This Depression Now! had more than 5 errors and it was very short. Um… had an embarrassing number of errors—over 20. What is going on!?

I think the problem is that book publishers live in the Internet Age. There are just as many good copy editors as there ever were. But now they aren’t given the time. What’s more, last minute changes are made so the book can be as up to date as possible. That’s how you get errors like the Stiglitz quote above; errors like mine are just carelessness.

Things will not change for the better. In fact, they will get worse. Books have become the magazines of yesterday. And soon they will become the blogs.

You can think of me like this: