The Telemachus Press Blog


Don’t depend on spell check.  It doesn’t catch misused words and it often makes suggestions that are incorrect.  Be careful.  Find a good editor.  I read a very funny and well-told story recently that offers a great example of the ‘spell check spell.’  

The first problem I encountered:  I couldn’t find the book because the author had misspelled her own name on the link she had sent out.  The book will remain nameless for additional reasons that will become obvious momentarily.   My note to the author’s friend who suggested the book:

   The author has a good story and a catchy writing style. But she has many errors in the book:  punctuation, spelling, grammar, misuse of words and more. This detracts from any good manuscript. 

    At least three times she used the word ‘physic’ when she meant ‘psychic.’ Since ‘physic’ is another word for a purgative like an enema, I don’t think she meant to say that.  Another example:  “real estate magnet” instead of “real estate magnate.”  Cockamamie was spelled three different ways in three different places in the book.  (My favorite was caca mane.)

    “There are missing quotation marks and missing commas all through the book. There are paragraphs that are at least eight lines long but written as one sentence.  I know I have a professional eye so I catch these things more easily than a typical reader.  But I thought I would share my comments with you and give you the option of sharing them with the author.”

 Writers are entertainers.  They want to maintain interest.  Abundant typographical errors distract your readers.  An author does not want to be remembered for all of the ridiculous errors that were found in a book.  Don’t let spell check cast its spell.  I’ll borrow a famous expression from George Bush to sum it all up:  Don’t “misunderestimate” the effects of poor word usage.

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