Why Make a Big Deal About a Typo or Two?


Photo Credit: DorkTower

This is something I really don’t understand, especially when it comes to writers who are reading. Why is it that so many people feel the need to make a big deal when they discover a typo or two in the text of a book? Oh right, because they’re perfect and those typos would have never happened if it was them doing the writing or editing.

I mean, does any sane person think it’s easy to find every single typo that appears throughout the any given text? No. Because it isn’t. The whole “Oh but they’re supposed to be professionals” argument is ridiculous. They’re also human.

For me, I’d say I find one or two every few books I read. Which means that in my reading experience they are extremely rare. One typo for every 5-10 books is damn near perfect. So get over yourself. Every typo is not going to be caught before publication, no matter how many times the book is read through.

29 thoughts on “Why Make a Big Deal About a Typo or Two?

  1. I definitely agree. Sure, I want everything I put out to be perfect (who doesn’t?) but they happen. When you can find them in professionally published and edited works, I certainly am not going to sweat one or two in my own work or that of other authors.


  2. I once read a traditionally published book that used “overdue” when it should have read “overdo.” Didn’t ruin the book though (which was “meh” for other reasons). Yet when those are found in indie books, we’re ruining the publishing industry? Umm no.


    • Perfect point. People just want to blame indie authors for everything. Publishers not making money? Indies’ fault. Amazon taking over the world? Indies’ fault. It snowed today? Indies’ fault. So dumb.


  3. One or two in a book is fine. I seldom find them in published novels anyway. If an indie book has less than five, I consider it well edited (considering there are no “professional” gatekeepers and self-published authors have lives/jobs outside of their publishing gig. They don’t have time to pour over a book ten times for nitpicking.)


      • Meh, not really. I really cannot think of a typo I’ve ever seen in a traditionally published book. I see them more in indie books, and I…really can’t help but subconsciously count most things anyway. I don’t bother keeping track past five or so though.


  4. Among other things (which I don’t remember) one of my philosophy lecturers introduced me to the law of infinite misprints, this fairly self-evident theory states that no matter how many times you check a document (or how thoroughly you do it) there will always be one more typo. The last time I checked it wasn’t the end of the world.

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  5. I’m actually relieved when I find typos. Especially in authors I greatly admire. It makes them seem more approachable in my literary view of them. I can’t stand a lot of typos, but one or two every so often really doesn’t bother me. And because I’m a speed reader, I don’t necessarily catch them all. My brain just fills in what the appropriate word is supposed to be and I move on. I sometimes don’t notice them all until they’re pointed out to me. One of the benefits and downfalls of speed reading, I suppose. I do it with my own manuscript, as well, which is why I force myself to read the entire thing out loud, so that I am made to take my time and can find the typos and grammar mistakes easily.

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      • Yes, exactly. I have a tendency to over exaggerate the talent of my favorite authors and see their level of talent as unattainable and amazing. Kind of like how other people view actors, athletes, and such. That’s how I view authors. It’s not a very healthy view to have, I know, but seeing mistakes every now and again reminds me that we all have different talents and we’re all human. Meaning, none of us is perfect.


  6. For me, I do not mind if I read a story and find a few typos here and there. I really wish the literary world of writers and readers wouldn’t obsess over a book being flawless. Yes, as a writer, I will always strive to make my story as error free as possible, but just because a book has a few typos here and there, that shouldn’t be the deciding factor on whether the book is good or bad.

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