Be Careful with Your Facts

In light of my last post on taking care of details, I thought my readers would be interested in seeing some oddities and errors I found – in the past week!

An Irish Soda bread recipe in a local circular called for:

3 cups flower

Hmmm. Roses? Daffodils? Tulips? What color? Green, perhaps?

And this on Amazon in describing a book:

Praying in the Holy Spirit is one important bible study about the prayer.
A book that will bring growth and knowledge about prayer, and invite him to live with greater intimacy with God.

Written by Charles Spurgeon, important preacher Christian.

The way this is written, I suspect the author’s first language is not English. I’m not being snarky, I’m being serious. Note “the” in front of prayer in the first sentence. And the fact that “him” actually refers to “book” in the second sentence. And the out-of-order description in the third sentence. I’m sure most writers caught that “important” shouldn’t have been used twice. Another adjective in the second case would have been appropriate.

And finally, a county executive was quoted as saying that a group of teachers is not only the best in America, but the best in Virginia!

I’m a Virginia native whose love for the state means I could always get a job with our tourism department. But even I am not sure Virginia supercedes America. Although we’re known to be snobby. Case in point, this list opens with: People From Virginia Are Total Snobs, But That’s Only Because They’re So Amazing At Everything (

Yeah, might want to watch the bragging, too.

Your turn:

Have you noticed interesting errors in print lately?

What do you think is the most common error in print?


27 Responses to Be Careful with Your Facts

  1. Avatar
    Karen Englund April 7, 2016 at 4:48 am #

    Read a fiction book on Kindle recently which referred to New York City as the capital of New York.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray April 7, 2016 at 8:41 am #

      Kathy, it probably seems that way since NYC is in the news so much! Still, Google is your friend…

  2. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 7, 2016 at 5:26 am #

    The ‘best in America AND best in Virginia’ thing reminded me of a Boston Brahmin who decided to drive to the West Coast, was asked what route he took.

    “The southern. I went by way of Dedham.”

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray April 7, 2016 at 8:43 am #

      Andrew, that’s hilarious! Reminds me of someone who thought Nashville is on the East Coast. They aren’t even the same time zone!

  3. Avatar
    Evelyn Wagoner April 7, 2016 at 5:27 am #

    I saw a book titled, “Once-a-Day Devotional,” but the subheading was “Morning & Evening.” That’s a pretty long devotional …

    • Avatar
      Jean April 7, 2016 at 5:58 am #

      That’s hilarious!! ?

    • Avatar
      Jackie Layton April 7, 2016 at 8:07 am #

      Once a day? That would work for Anna, the older Jewish woman, who prayed at the temple everyday waiting for the arrival of Jesus.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray April 7, 2016 at 8:36 am #

      Evelyn — Either substitute “or” for “and” or think about joining a convent…

  4. Avatar
    Carol Ashby April 7, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    Only Texas supercedes Amerca. (Just kidding. Idaho does, too.)

  5. Avatar
    Cynthia Herron April 7, 2016 at 7:27 am #

    Tamela, the best one I’ve seen recently (although I do so love your “flower” catch!) is the image our daughter captured on her phone. It’s a picture of the school calendar hanging on the wall of one of her classrooms–the same calendar that’s probably hung in multiple schools across our state, as I’m guessing they come from the same resource supplier.

    The problem? It was February when DD took the shot so, naturally, the calendar was flipped to that month. The month “FEBRUARY” is misspelled “FEBURARY.” In big, block letters for all impressionable, young readers/spellers to see.

    Our older son was less amused than his high school sis. He’s a teacher. 🙂

  6. Avatar
    Eva Marie Everson April 7, 2016 at 7:49 am #

    Went to a nail salon in NC while visiting friends late last year. The nail tech on the other side of the table had a tattooed collar (along her throat line) that read: FOREVER GREATFUL

    I said, “Forever grateful, huh?”

    She said, “Yes, I am!” (So I knew she didn’t realize it was misspelled …)

    Poor thing …

  7. Avatar
    Christine Henderson April 7, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    When I do research for interviews, I review author pages on Goodreads. Many times I’ve seen details on their bios that promote a book which is “coming soon.” However,it’s out of date by a year or more. I do send them a gentle reminder to update.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray April 7, 2016 at 8:40 am #

      Christine, I learned this the hard way since I’m on faculty at many conferences. Now I write a bio that’s hard to date by avoiding phrases such as, “She has been a literary agent for (blank) years.”

  8. Avatar
    Patti Jo Moore April 7, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    Here in Georgia we love our locally-grown vegetables each summer. However, a few years ago my sister and I noticed a roadside stand that advertised “Fresh Squash and Orca” – – hmmmmm, we’d prefer OKRA with our squash, so we didn’t stop at that stand, LOL. 😉

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray April 7, 2016 at 8:47 am #

      Patti Jo, whatsa matter? Can’t find locally caught whale meat in Georgia? 😉

    • Avatar
      Connie Stevens April 7, 2016 at 8:58 am #

      Patti Jo, last summer I saw a sign that said HUGH GARAGE SALE. I wondered if Hugh knew that someone was selling his garage.

    • Avatar
      Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 7, 2016 at 9:11 am #

      Do orcas get their soft drinks at Orcacoke Inlet…or is Ocracoke where okra goes bad and buys drugs? (And why did the mapmakers of the Our Banks have to be so cruel to dyslexics?)

      Whilst in San Diego, years ago, a saw a sign advertising “SELF STORAGE”, but it was missing a critical letter.

      And thus I learned the dark secret of the North Pole, and the off-season lot of Santa’s workers.

  9. Avatar
    Connie Stevens April 7, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    In a book I’m reading right now, the author mentioned crocuses starting to bloom, and the story is set in Virginia in May. I’m pretty sure crocuses are already long-finished blooming by May.

  10. Avatar
    Harry Wegley April 7, 2016 at 9:07 am #

    Homonyms, introduced by transcription software, are among the most insidious errors. My Dragon software sprinkles them liberally throughout my manuscripts. The worst for me was a homonym that transformed an innocent sentence into something obscene — too obscene to repeat it here. The glitch made it through to the galley proofs where, fortunately, I caught it before the book went to printing.

  11. Avatar
    rochellino April 7, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    I have a friend who is Superintendent of Streets for a medium size city in the Midwest. After paving they must repaint lines, crosswalks, etc. I happened to be in his office when he received a frantic phone call. One of his crews (not real literate) had recently repainted the crosswalk in front of an elementary. It read:


    Red faces abounded. People scrambled. A cover-up ensued.

    The most egregious and numerous offenders seem to be the chyron operators on TV stations.

  12. Avatar
    Carol Ashby April 7, 2016 at 10:08 am #

    Geographic perception is entertaining. In grad school in Illinois in the 70’s, my friends from Alabama and Connecticut were arguing Noth and South. They looked at me weird when I told them to an Idahoan, they were both just a couple of Easterners.

    (Just kidding about Texas superceeding the U.S.)

  13. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 7, 2016 at 10:18 am #

    There’s Texas, and then there’s everywhere else. Texas is a state of mind.

    To wit…when Barbara and I remarried, we did so while attending a Family Life marriage conference in Las Vegas.

    One of the speakers decided to make an extended joke about Catholics, and when he finished I politely raised my hand.

    When he called on me I said (remember, I’m Asian, and do NOT look like the Marlboro Man), “Well, pardner…we’re Catholic, we’re from Texas, and you, sir, are a-fixin’ to meet Jesus.”

    He backpedaled so quick he was halfway across Utah before he stopped.

  14. Avatar
    Angela Breidenbach April 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

    I noticed “bible”. Always when referring to that book, it’s Bible. Though when touting reasons, it’s biblical 😉

  15. Avatar
    Natalie Monk April 7, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    I can’t remember reading or hearing any mishaps like these in anyone else’s words this past week or two, but I was editing one of my proposals and found “egg-beater” in place of “rug-beater.” I’m sure an editor would have loved the mental image of my heroine scrambling up a rug for breakfast.

    Fun post, Tamela!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get New Posts by Email

Get New Posts by Email

Each article is packed with helpful info and encouragement for writers. You can unsubscribe at any time with one click. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!