11 December 2013


All books have typos. Even my own books have a few, despite my efforts at proof-reading the text again and again and again. And while they can be annoying, a few typos don't matter too much. But sometimes if they are too frequent, they can seriously interfere with one's ability to understand a text.

I was recently reading a short story entitled The Phenwick Phenomena by the Singaporean writer Simon Tay, published in an anthology entitled One: The Anthology, and on page 127, I read this sentence:

He tried to rearrange the Singaporean poetry books in alphabetical order on the shelf next to the last, sun-faded copies of his own book but, as he diet he started flipping the pages of the boob he had meant to reshelf and reading the poems again, sitting down on another pile of books as if un a low stool.

Presumably, boob is supposed to be book, and un should be on. But diet? I am lost there.

The book is published by Marshall Cavendish, and one wonders what kind of copy editors they employ. How can a sentence like that be published?