Are typos endearing or annoying?

Humans are flawed. It’s a fact. Plain and simple. It’s the reason technology still has issues and why websites suddenly go down for maintenance. Something, somewhere got overlooked and therefore was left to destroy everything! *gasp*

And the same thing happens in books.

Now, I suppose I’m being a little melodramatic about all of this because small, minor issues aren’t the end of the world. Half the time, the website script is fixed in a short time. Or a company will realize their error and recall the product to protect its consumers (and of course to save face.) However! When an error occurs in a published book… nothing happens!

But what am I talking about??? Books aren’t technology. They don’t have script or whatever that needs constant maintenance. All the errors get ironed out WELL in advance. So what am I rambling on about?!

Typos, man! Typos!

I don’t know about you guys, but there are plenty of books I’ve come across (in my short reading life) that have typos in them (and inconsistencies, but that’s another discussion altogether 0.0). Of course, typos always makes me pause because:

It can’t be a typo. This is a published book. Publishers aren’t flawed. This thing went through revisions and editors and who knows who else!

And yet, it happens. Books do sometimes have typos in them. Usually nothing major, but enough so that the word no longer makes logical sense in the sentence. Thankfully, I still understand what the author was trying to say. But… it puts a bad taste in my mouth. I can’t seem to just let it slide.

I mean, books are designed to be an escape. They’re designed to whisk us away and be magical (even if they’re not fantasy 😉 ). So, when a book has a typo in it, it’s like a jarring removal from the Matrix! Like BAM! Yanking your entire consciousness out of a simulation, a different world, and it hurts! (Okay. Not really. :p )

But it does manage to rip me out of the story I’m reading. It draws me back into reality and kind of destroys the whole experience. Worst of all is when I can’t stop thinking about it.

Will there be more typos? Was it intentional? Is it a dialect choice?

There are so many questions that leave the typo unexplained and, therefore, ruminating in my head. It lingers throughout the entire course of the book. Thus tainting the story. *sigh*

Though, perhaps I’m just crazy! (Because it’s been affirmed on numerous occasions and by a variety of people). Maybe the little typos in the story actually make the book and story and author more endearing. Maybe it reminds the reader that the author is, in fact, human still (even though we often worship them like Gods. :p )

So what do you think about typos?
Are they good or bad?

Leave your thoughts below!

And check out my discussion from last week:

30 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Typos”

  1. I think a lot depends on the extent to which I notice them. For example, some stories are so good, and I’m so deep down the rabbit hole, that I don’t even notice. I’m mouthing the words to the “song” while listening to it the first time.
    And in some cases, where I can tell that it’s a simple letter in the wrong place, I usually let it go.
    But once in a while there are whole words that have been misplaced, like using “their” instead of “there”, or the absence of a comma that helps break the sentence up into its proper parts.
    That kind of mistake really bugs me.
    And, while not the fault of the author, a missing letter bothers me a lot too. It’s purely a technical/printing issue, but if I see “qui” and no “et” or “te”, it bugs me.
    It’s like you said, anything that breaks the flow, that jerks me out of my wonderful adventure, is going to find me a little perturbed.
    But as a reader what can you do? As writers I think we’re often driven to perfect our work, to give “them” no excuse to reject it out of hand, but the reality is no one and nothing is perfect, and in spite of the typos, it’s still a good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oo! The comma thing! So, side comment (Because now I have to say it), I was reading a book recently and this author had an obsession with incomplete sentences. Typically, authors will add a comma to connect the two sentences and chock it up to narrative voice, but this author didn’t! It was sooo annoying! The extra break in the thoughts was clunky and I couldn’t understand why so many people liked this author. Can’t say I’m interested in reading anything by them ever again! /rant

      doesn’t speak enough French
      definitely missed that reference
      nods anyway

      As a writer, I think the biggest problem is the constant edits. There is so much bigger picture going on that it can be difficult to look at such a minute detail as the right word or comma. I mean, we’re more often than not more worried about the flow of the scene, the clarity, the mood, the diction. Sometimes our brains are so high up in the clouds of the novel that we forget to drop back to Earth and actually look at the make-up of sentences. :/ (I know I’ve been corrected before by my betas. And I apologize profusely.)

      I guess, as a reader, I’m more worried about the typos and inconsistencies that seem like they should’ve been obvious or leave me wondering whether the author knows better. You know what I mean? :/ I suppose I should try to be a bit more lenient, though, being a writer myself. God knows I ain’t perfect. Hahahaha! I had typos in this post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, I’m no eagle eye. I probably blow by most typos. When I do catch the odd one, my brain goes, “Ha ha! Mistake. Life is fun!” And then I’m moving on. If I start seeing a lot of typos, I’m probably reading something I wrote!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a very refreshing way to approach mistakes, J.W. It seems you are far less critical of the things you read than others, but I imagine that also makes the experience more enjoyable, as well. You likely can jump right back into the story with no problems.

      And every writer has their own set of typos. 😉 That’s what polishing was designed for. Hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right, I can usually jump right back in without much pause. Maybe it has something to do with doing some writing of my own and having some sympathy for the writer/editors. Typos aren’t like pokemon. You’ll NEVER catch them all!


  3. From everything I’ve seen, every book ever published has mistakes and typos.I have never read something where an author is happy with the first published edition. I have also read blogs of traditionally published authors who later went the self published route and said finding mistakes in the book was one of the joys about self-publishing – they could just go in and fix it instead of waiting months, years or never for the publisher to fix them.

    As far as reading? 98% of the time I barely notice them. Occasionally it will make the meaning a little unclear or I’ll find a book that has a lot of typos. Then I notice. If there is a misspelling or grammar mistake? usually goes right by. Even if it is the wrong word, my mind usually puts the correct word in its place (very dangerous for self editing 😉 ) Actually, if you’ve ever seen one of those pages where every word is totally mangled yet it is still readable, you realize how amazing the human mind is. And the more I’m enjoying something, the less I see errors – I’m living 100% in my head and the page and words are just there to help me get to that world. Again, dangerous for self editing – If I find myself reading instead of editing, I have to stop and do it in random chunks.

    Authors and editors need to get rid of as many of the typos and mistakes as possible, but we are human, there will be some. For me, unless it is awful, I just ignore it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I totally understand that. I’m really good at reading the words when the letters are out of order, but I’m also a really observant reader. (As I’ve come to learn through discussions with other readers. And it’s why I read so slow.) I absorb every word individually and as a whole, thus it’s more noticeable to me when something is wrong. :/ I try to brush it off, but I guess it also comes down to the fact that I’m a total grammar nazi. I have to physically prevent myself from correcting people and perhaps that’s why I’m so bothered by this stuff.

      But I do understand we are all human. It’s not like I stop reading or burn the book because it has a typo. :p I keep going, but it lingers in my mind and I will usually remember the typo even after I’ve finished the book. Darn you, brain.

      I think that would be the worst part about traditional publishing: not being able to edit. Though, at the same time, there is something nice about not constantly worrying about changing things. Once it’s pubbed, it’s pubbed. All done. swipes hands together (literally almost said ‘all down.’ Apparently I reached my ability to English today. Bye! :p )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As an author, of course I want my books to be as close to perfect as possible, however when we’re talking 100,000 odd words, that’s a 100,000 to 1 odds of perfection! Imagine if we expected those same odds of every goods and service in the world (especially those that have cost you more than 4.99) – eg;
    Ever go to a doctor and not had the problem fixed after the first visit?
    Ever gone and bought takeaway food and had then stuff up your order?
    Ever bought a tube of toothpaste from the store and had a defective cap that falls off?

    So these mistakes we overlook and continue to stick with our local GP, fast food provider and favourite toothpaste brand, but the author who loses her 100,000 to 1 odds?? Nope. She’s branded and we won’t read another of her books because she spelt worde wrong.

    Thus I implore readers to remember; we (authors) are only human. Mistakes will happen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is fascinating, Jessica! You bring such insight to this idea with your comparisons! I never would’ve thought about how the margin of error varies between products and yet we demand authors to be perfect. Do you think perhaps there is some reasoning behind this? Is it perhaps that we look up to authors the reason we want them to be flawless? I mean, we do the same with celebrities and musicians. We expect them to be like Gods. Could it be that we see authors in a similar light?

      Hahaha! I think most people will allow a book one or two typos. And I’ve also noticed that different colloquialisms (God, I have no idea how to spell that. Thank you, spell check.) and dialects will also change spellings. Yet, these are just as rejected as many typos. I know readers who refuse to read a book if the dialect is too different from their own. Yet we watch films with varied dialects and languages. It’s such a strange thing how we assess books and their creators. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a bit like you I think that it really bugs me when I see a typo. What’s worse is when you see a typo in your own stuff… Like “break” instead of “brake”… THAT makes me want to pound my head against the wall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! Oh heavens. I see those in my own writing all the time. I do a small headdesk and keep going. However! If one of my betareaders points it out to me, I’m just like NOOOOOOO!!! I’m SO SORRY! I’m NOT THIS BAD OF A WRITER! I SWEAR! …and have an emotional break down. :p When it’s just you, that’s one thing. But it does reflect poorly on the writer and so I am always embarrassed when they slip past me for readers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I hate it. Really, really hate it. It completely takes me out of the little story bubble that I’ve created for myself and throws me right back into the real world (mostly because I like to point the error out to whoever is around at the time. I can deal with American English, I can cope with colloquial language, I can even manage pointlessly flowery explanations if the whole text is consistently written in that style (Anthony Doerr, I’m looking at you). But one badly worded sentence, the use of the wrong word, poor punctuation, bad grammar or generally anything that plainly wouldn’t happen makes me so irrationally angry that I immediately want to find the author on Twitter to make them aware of their crimes to publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahahahaha! I can totally feel your rage and I get it! But the sad part is, it’s not always the author! (depending on how they got published.) I mean, I know I’ve still found typos in my 80,000 word novel. I’m more worried about the plot and the character development. By the time you reach the last, polish draft, you’re so exhausted of the book, that it’s easy to miss stuff, but it’s the EDITOR’S job to fix all that. They literally get paid to go through and make sure it’s grammatically correct and everything! sigh

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Same!! It’s such a shock to the senses when a book suddenly has a typo. Totally uncool, man! Cramping my vibe! It also really bothers me when there are inconsistencies in a scene. Like: How’d that character get from point A to point B? 0.0

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get so into books that, honestly, I don’t always notice things like that. I’m really good at suspending my disbelief, I guess. I’m much more like to notice and be bothered by inconsistencies like that in a movie.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah! I can understand that. My biggest thing is my ability to imagine the 3D structure of a scene. (I was awesome at organic chem. 😉 ) Thus, I’m constantly noting where characters are, how they’re standing, when they are moving, etc. [I’ve also been told I’m good at this in my own novels. Win!] That being said, when something doesn’t sound right or I can’t imagine it, it really throws me off.

          Example: I remember reading a book where the girl took her shoes off to get into the water… then a couple pages later she had her shoes on… but she was still in the water. -.- Still love that book though. sigh

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I find them irritating, especially when it’s a typo that any spellchecker should have and would have picked up. If the mistake is grammatical, that’s more understandable, but not necessarily less disruptive. But every time I think I have read and re-read something over and over without finding an error, the next time I am sure to detect one. “Errare humanum est”, as the ancient Romans knew already.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! More often than not it’s still an actual word, and it has the same sound as the original word, BUT it’s not the right word and therefore doesn’t make sense. It’s like someone using the wrong ‘there.’ Though, that’s not the one I usually see. It’s usually something I never would’ve thought could be exchanged in English (Because I know the difference. :p Though, I do fail at ‘effect’ and ‘affect’ still AND I’ve been told the difference. sigh)

      Oh yeah! That’s me with my discussions (which I’m sure people have noticed. Hahaha!) I’m like, it’s all good! No typos! And then I post it and I go to film it and I’m like… wait. That’s… DANG IT! But it’s already up and everyone’s already read it.

      It is true. To err is human. doesn’t speak Latin or Roman… or whatever :p

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I hate them. HATE them, moreso in traditionally published books. Even worse is grammatical errors and incorrect word usage. My thoughts, especially concerning books that have many typos, is it started out as one book. One manuscript, and letting it get to the point where there are now thousands of that same book with the same error(s) looks careless and lazy. Anyone knows, careless and lazy isn’t praised in the workplace, and I hold authors and pubslishers to that same standard. Do you get paid for sloppy work? I sure as heck don’t.

    I also think I hold authors in a higher regard concerning language, spelling, grammar. Writing is their business, spelling and grammar and all the other logistics of language are essentially the Kindergarten of writing, the foundation. The ability to weave a tale and incorporate all of the elements involved in creating a novel is all built upon that foundation, and ignoring the simple things in favor of just making sure the story is good is again, careless. I’ve gotten to the point where if “diffuse a situation” vs “defuse a situation” happens in the first 5 pages of a book, I’m done. Harsh, yes. I’m not asking for perfection, I’m asking for quality. One or two typos, I’m ok with. Books riddled with them, that I paid for, are not quality. (And my comment is probably riddled with typos, but you don’t have to pay for my typos 🙂 )

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oo. You’re harsh. 😲 …I like you! 😈 We are friends now. Mwahahaha!

      Bahaha! I don’t pay for your typos nor do I get paid to write my blog. 😉 I KNOW there are typos in this post. (Definitely found them when I was filming. Hahahaha!) And despite my excessively high typing speed, my fingers still don’t keep up with my brain. Hence why I’m more likely to miss a word or use the wrong tense of a word than I am to use the wrong word, but even I am not a master of English. (Mostly because English is a dumb language. -.- )

      But I can understand your frustration. Authors are the ‘masters’ of language. They should know everything. After all, if you don’t have an advanced grasp of your own language, how can you effectively utilize it to portray your story in a magical way that connects with other people?

      (Though, as a novelist, I too find I still lack certain issues. But that is what betareaders are for. Editors. The dozens of other people who read the book before it’s published. The author may miss it [we’re only human], but a dozen people?! That just baffles me.)


  9. As an editor, I like to believe that there are zero errors in the books I edit, however, they happen. In the company I work for, I look over a manuscript at least 6 times. It goes between me and the author at least a half dozen times, then there are several people between us and the final publication. However, we are human, and even we use a program, like I do, typos and error still happen. I find them in my blog posts which I run through the program and read quite a few times. A period gets missed and comma ends up in the wrong spot an “s” is left off a word, words end up in the wrong order. It happens. We would like to think everything is always perfect in a professionally published book, but things happen. Probably in every book ever. I think that as long as there aren’t enough to be noticeable, like, there isn’t one a page or one a chapter, it’s fine. I can go over a manuscript and between me and finished product, something changes. The publisher or Amazon, or during the formatting process something gets moved. I don’t think it’s a big deal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. Thank you for bringing in the editor side of this discussion because the editors are the people we assume are responsible for typos and grammar mistakes. (You know, right behind the author.) Though, I imagine that after spending who knows how many hours looking over the same piece of writing a couple or more times, it can be difficult to spot those errors. Formatting does cause issues with punctuation, but I’m less worried about that and more worried about the actual words.

      And I’m sure there are plenty of typos out there that people never even notice. Though, I think my notice can be attributed to the fact that I’m a slower reader. I digest the text more thoroughly and, therefore, notice almost every word in the story. Perhaps that means I pay a little too much attention for human error. :p

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With the work I’ve edited, although it’s not my writing after the 4 or 5th round of editing which takes place within, like, 3 months the words become very familiar. It’s no excuse, and there are people who look at it after me to try to prevent typos and continuity errors but the happen.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mm. I can definitely attest to that. I notice it when I do revisions like “I know what’s going on. I know how this sentence works.” and then you’re not paying close enough attention for that random vowel that doesn’t belong. Stupid vowels. :p


Leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.