Every now and then, a publishing headline will catch both my eye and my sympathy as a proofreader. This time, Penguin Group Australia has been forced to reprint a pasta cookbook after one recipe called for “salt and freshly ground black people.”
For more, read the BBC News article that was released on Saturday, April 17th.
Obviously, mistakes like this are easy to make. God knows how many times I’ve typed odd slipups like this, and thank goodness I catch most of them before I publish or print. When I worked at a publishing company, we used to keep notebooks of such errors we caught, and then on bad days (regrettably there were many) we’d pull out those notebooks and have a good guffaw or two. I wish I could remember them all, because they used to have us in stitches. Perhaps not oddly, the only one I recall was an easy-to-miss goof: “Take the time to medicate” when it should have read “meditate.” No kidding! we spluttered. I imagine that one had an impact on me because we all needed to do that while working there.
Anyway. I agree with Penguin on this error (lucky for the proofreader, they found it forgivable): it’s an easy mistake to make and miss (the mind works in interesting ways and on several levels), and an honest one. Hardly something to get one’s knickers in a knot over. Honestly, I have to admit, I laughed aloud.