Erring Authors (Writers Not Readers?)

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What’s in a word? A lot, maybe, if it’s the wrong one.

Yesterday a friend found a typo on an author’s website. Not just any author but one whose works are ‘critically acclaimed’. (That’s good, right?)

And not just any typo but one that would make a ten-year-old wince. (‘An writer’?)

Our reactions were different. Concerned, my friend sent an email to the publicist. I was merely amused – ‘schadenfreude’ is too hard to spell – so I made a joke about authors being writers not readers.

Several literary lions, though, struggled with spelling. Jane Orsten, Agatha Kristie and E. Scott Fitzgerald – none of them could spell to save themselves.

As for Earliest Hemingway, possibly the worst orthographer of all, he would remind his editors that it was their job to get his spelling right.

Which is why, I suppose, writers are ‘authors’ and not ‘orthors’.

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