I recently read a book in which the author made many mistakes in the word he chose to use. I won’t embarrass him by naming the book or author just in case he ever looks at this post. Suffice it to say that it isn’t the usual genre I read, being horror.
I actually found the storyline quite good and it read with pace, but here are some of the mistakes he made with words.
1. Traverse: Transverse
Traverse is a verb meaning to go across something, like, as in the story, a forest.
Transverse is an adjective meaning something that goes across something else. e.g. a diagonal line crossing a shape, or a piece of wood going across another to form a cross.
The author wrote ‘…the only way to transverse the property…’
2. Disperse: Dispense
Disperse means to scatter. E.g. The crowd dispersed in an orderly manner.
Dispense means to do without. E.g. As the weather was warmer, he dispensed with wearing a coat.
The author wrote ‘…dispersed with human words…’
3. Soul: Sole
This one amused me greatly.
Soul is the spiritual part of a person that carries on after death.
Sole is the base of a shoe, or the only one.
The author wrote ‘…rubber boots, their souls encased in mud…’
4. Boarded: Bordered
Another amusing one.
Boarded means to get onto a ship, coach, aircraft, bus etc
Bordered means to go round the edge of something.
The author wrote ‘Two candles boarded a statue of the Buddha.’
Forth is to set off, go or depart.
Fourth is the one after third and before fifth.
The author wrote ‘He dumped the first three cards and was in the process of leading the forth.’
6. Hold: Holed
Hold is to have something in one’s hands.
Holed is to hide away.
The author wrote, ”We hold up in my grandfather’s hunting cabin.’
7. Site: Sight
Site refers to a place. E.g. This is the site of the battle.
Sight refers to seeing.
The author wrote ‘He brought up the front site of the shotgun.
8. Crucifix: Crucifixion.
Crucifix is is the cross on which people were killed in Roman times.
Crucifixion is what happens on the cross.
The author wrote, ‘The priest stood next to the first crucifixion.’
‘A large semicircle with twelve crucifixions…’
‘Strapped to the crucifixions…’
9. Finally: Finale
Finally is an adverb. It means coming at the end.
Finale is a noun and it refers to the last act.
The author wrote, ‘The grand finally…’
10. Wetting: Whetting
Wetting means to put water on something.
Whetting means to sharpen something. E.g. a stone used to sharpen a knife is called a whetstone.
The author wrote, ‘…wetting their appetite…’
Those were the main ones I noted down, as well as some common ones like were and where, choose and chose and the inevitable loose and lose.
Now I’m prepared to be generous and say some of these might, just might, be typos, but even in that case, it was poor. The manuscript should have been edited better.
It’s things like this that give self-published authors a bad name. It’s easier to get a bad name than a good one, and very difficult to get rid of a bad name once it’s been established. Unfortunately, in many people’s eyes, self-published authors are poor and produce poor books, and it’s things like this that reinforce this opinion.
So please, please, please, if you are a self-publishing author, or are thinking of self-publishing, get your manuscripts edited and all corrections made before going to press with it. At least read through it properly and get someone else (as many someone elses as you can, preferably) to do so as well if you can’t afford a professional editor. I’ve never heard anyone say they couldn’t finish a book because it had no errors, but I’ve heard many say the opposite.
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