My day job requires a lot of proofreading on a regular basis. Indeed, proofreading has become so much of a habit that I do it all the time. Sometimes, the habit actually becomes irritating, especially when I am reading for the sheer pleasure of it.
Still, no one can deny the importance of this task. I am pretty sure that the editing staff at Penguin Group Australia is beating themselves up for a â€œslightâ€ proofreading error. What happened?
A cookbook dubbed the Pasta Bible has been published and released with a typo. So whatâ€™s the big deal? We all know that despite the rigorous processes involved in writing, editing, and publishing books, things do slip by people. Thatâ€™s why we are called human.
In the case of the Pasta Bible, however, the slip is quite a significant one: one recipe calls for â€œsalt and freshly ground black people!â€
Obviously, this one-word typo is simply that â€“ a typo. The implications of the incorrect word and the possible repercussions are quite intimidating, though.
On the part of Penguin, they are downplaying the issue. Bob Sessions, the head of publishing, says that it is nothing but a â€œsillyâ€ mistake, and agrees that the proofreader should have caught it. He further says that â€œWe’re mortified that this has become an issue of any kind and why anyone would be offended, we don’t know. We’ve said to bookstores that if anyone is small-minded enough to complain about this … silly mistake, we will happily replace (the book) for them.â€