I had thought that I wouldn’t find an e-book typo more hilarious than “the next Jew chapters” or “arroz con polio” from the Young Wizards series. But The Guardian Books blog has found what may very well be one of the greatest typos of all time, in Susan Andersen’s novel Baby, I’m Yours.
The passage in question in the e-book was supposed to read, “He stiffened for a moment but then she felt his muscles loosen as he shifted on the ground.” [emphasis mine] However, the accidental change of a “f” to a “t” (presumably in the OCR process; the book dates from 1995, which means it probably had to be scanned to produce an e-copy) altered a certain word to one describing defecation. Writes a chagrined Andersen:
"Shifted – he SHIFTED! I just cringe when I think of the readers who have read this. Hopefully, it’s only in the iBook version that I bought, but if it’s in yours as well, please let me know. I’ve contacted the editor and pray this will be promptly fixed. Too late for us…but for Gawd’s sake."
I certainly feel for Andersen, but can’t help being delighted at yet more evidence of publisher inattention to detail in e-book quality control. Perhaps if a few more embarrassing incidents like this come to light, publishers will be persuaded to put more effort into their proofing processes.
Probably not, but a reader can dream.