I promised yesterday to reveal what the blooper was in the extract I posted from a book I’m reading on my Kindle. Here’s the text again:
He held out a hand. “I’m John Smith.”
“Jane Brown,” said Jane, …
“Are you on holiday?” asked Jane.
“Yes. I … excuse me.”
I didn’t get his name, thought Jane. He’s very attractive.
I don’t suppose I need to point it out, as it’s such a glaring mistake, but for the record – in the first line character A tells character B his name. In the last line, character B is telling us that she didn’t get his name!
Reading on, I soon came across another error in this book, a spelling error this time. Here’s the text:
“… What about [Teresa Trimmington]? She leant [Frederica] her diamond necklace and …”
Again, I’ve changed the names of the characters. Spot the spelling goof? Yes, it’s leant. Leant is the past participle of the verb to lean. One could also use leaned. According to Cambridge Dictionaries Online (British English section), lean means to cause to slope in one direction or to move the top part of the body in a particular direction.
The correct word, however, to use in this context is lent, which is the past participle of the verb to lend, meaning in this context, to grant to (someone) the use of (something) on the understanding that it will be returned. (This definition is from Oxford Dictionaries Online. One could also use loaned, from the verb to loan.
And again, if you are writing text, you need an editor/proofreader. You won’t find your own errors, because you don’t want to. (I don’t find my own, even though I’m a trained proofreader). Hire me! I’m cheap and fast – as a proofreader, that is! Maybe I should claim to be cheap and thorough as a proofreader, which is preferable to being fast, though I can be fast too, though it’s best not to rush editing and proofing.
I’ve read that proofreaders are visualised as boring, bald, round-shouldered nitpickers who slouch around in old cardigans. I have all my hair, wouldn’t be seen dead in an old cardigan, and I learned (neither leaned, nor lent) to carry myself well as a ballroom/Latin American/ice dancer and now as a singer. (Amateur sopranos carry themselves just as uprightly as professional ones). Nitpicker? Well … but that’s a positive personality trait for a proofreader!
- Editing and Proofreading (jrj848.wordpress.com)
- Have I ever edited or proofread? (anitajhansen.wordpress.com)
- 2-3 reliable sources of information on Editing and Proofreading. (gvs953.wordpress.com)