Thursday, October 22, 2009
My inner pedant gets a gag order
Back in times of old, when I used to read The New York Times in processed wood-pulp format, I always had a red pen in hand, because it was full of niggly little typos and the occasional large, glaring error – and I marked up my copy as I went along. It was satisfying in the same way that shouting at Jeopardy contestants is satisfying – Look how stupid those people are! I’m better than that!
Apparently I’m not so much better than Jeopardites, though, because although I’m still good at finding those typos, I have laid aside my red pen. Which would be a small matter had I not complained about the typos in a book (Help! A Bear Is Eating Me!) using a public forum (this one) – but unfortunately failed to record the offenses for future reference (oops).
Last night, the book’s author, Mykle Hansen, left a comment on my review, offering to correct the offending typos if I would email them to him. This is nothing less than a matter of honor, with only one possible course of action: I’m going to re-read the book, red pen in hand, and find all the errors again, and email him a list.
I am starting to despair, as I realize I have no hope of completing 50 books in one year, since I am now re-reading books I’ve finished, in addition to reading books I can’t count, not to mention starting books I don’t finish. I don’t really mind though; I have a cold today and can’t concentrate very well, so it’s a good day to re-read something, especially something that made me laugh as much as Mr. Hansen’s book.
Mr. Hansen generously offered to “discipline the typos that may have glared” at me. I can only assume this won’t be some sort of namby-pamby “time out” discipline; I’m expecting strict discipline of the corporal variety. My inner pedant is obviously ecstatic – so happy, in fact, that it wants to throw a party.
How does a pedant throw a party? Do the invitations come with annotations? Are there chemists involved in making the drinks, or is mixology now officially a science? Do you throw punctuation instead of confetti? My inner pedant is going to have to shut up until I find the answers to these questions.
In the meantime, if you should happen to pick up a copy of Help! A Bear Is Eating Me! and find it blissfully typo-free – you’re welcome.