The Children’s Bookshelf peeps at Publishers Weekly recently tweeted this Huffington post article on Grammar Pet Peeves. The list contains the fairly standard horrors of affect/effect, its/it’s, etc. and it got me thinking about the two children’s lit misspellings that keep me awake at night.
The first, and most bone-chillingly infuriating, is the misspelling of Newbery. If I had a dime for everytime I saw Mr. N spelt wrong, I’d likely have enough money to hire Neil Gaiman to come speak at a private event.
John most often has his surname butchered in two ways.
Stephenie Meyer is what I call a “tooth brushing author,” meaning I harbor neither overwhelmingly strong hatred nor overwhelmingly strong love for her or her work. Reading Twilight was like brushing my teeth – it was a necessity that left me feeling rather neutral and blaze. M’eh.
But what does leave me in a cold sweat of rage is the misspelling of her name. I don’t know why, but it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. And it’s one thing if you’re a teenager on a Twlight message board, fervently arguing the merits of Team Jacob, but it is quite another if you are one of Canada’s most popular and respected newspapers:
And People magazine did it too!
There are many more examples but my blood pressure can’t take it. I know that we are all human and that this blog is probably riddled with typos, but I thought it was my duty to show you this horrifying underbelly of the children’s/YA literature world. This will also be the only time Stephenie Meyer and Newbery are ever mentioned in the same sentence.
I would also like to point out that there are some instances where children’s literature-related typos are positively inevitable. For instance, when you are spelling John Scieszka. Even if I am copying his name directly from a book cover, I will always spell it wrong. The same goes for Canadian YA author Shelley Hrdlitschka. It is common knowledge that the most fertile typo breeding ground is created when an s is paired side-by-side with a c. Throw a z or a k/h in there and you’re up the creek.