Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Grammar Detective by Kayla Gaffney

Books based on vampires are flocking the worlds book shelves. I am one avid reader of the supernatural. A series that I have been reading is the Blue Bloods series. After I had finished reading the fourth book, I realized that it was covered in mistakes. Most of the books in this series are first editions, so many errors escaped the editors. This takes into consideration a topic that Sarah Maludzinski raised. Even though spell-check is a simple way of correcting mistakes, human judgement is imperative in discovering errors regarding the English language. Grammar errors are around every bend and it does not take a trained eye to see them. Just look outside to the nearest Tim Hortons sign. My spell-check is telling me to add an apostrophe, yet I can not.

Published works are riddled with mistakes, as are signs, billboards, e-mails, and even promotional campaigns. This excerpt was taken from an instruction manual for a Timex stereo C.D. clock: "The INDIGO night-light will shut off in bright light to prolong it's life." This just does not make sense. If the stereo is shutting down, how can it be lighting up? Large corporations should take time in making their statements grammatically correct, as it leads the readers to believe that the corporation does not have a solid grasp on the English language. The only way to master your corrections is to take time in your writing. Try not using spell-check for a day. Reaching for a dictionary and learning our mistakes first hand makes it possible for us to eliminate that individual mistake for good. As Valentine Sterling once said, "Grammar stops at love, and at art." Grammar mistakes happen all the time, but the people who take time to correct themselves are the real geniuses. 


  1. I have also read the series of Blue Bloods, and just like them, the Twilight series also has many simple errors that a brief once-over for errors could have fixed. The Timex stereo reference was very interesting in the way that it is a huge corporation, and for such a company not to realize a mistake such as this brings up the question of carelessness. Excellent points, Kayla!

  2. When popular novels have a large number of errors I always wonder whether or not the editors left them because they are part of the authors tone, or if they were simply overlooked. Even when you compare a first edition with later editions of some books, many of the errors remain. Thankfully, in most cases the errors are often not obvious enough to completely ruin the book.

    I agree with Murriel that the Timex example is really interesting! Strange that such a large corporation would let such a mistake fall through the cracks.

  3. I love Stephene Meyer’s vampire books and I don't remember any errors because I wasn't looking for them. Since the grammar detective exercise I have noticed errors in a lot of books I read i.e. "The Shifter" by Janice Hardy.

    I’m more forgiving when there are errors in a book because they are usually few and far between however; I’m less forgiving when there are errors in newspaper. It seems the newspaper is constantly riddled with errors.