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.
4 thoughts on “What do the Newbery and Stephenie Meyer Have In Common?”
A further complication–The Newberry Library (Chicago) is correctly spelled with two r’s! As to Meyer’s first name, I was sure you had misspelled it, it appears the other way so often. I should have known better. And BTW, love this blog…
“it was a necessity that left me feeling rather neutral and blaze”
Did you mean blasé? Interesting in a post about typos!
It IS interesting! I’m going to leave it that way as a kind of meta-challenge: “Spot the typo in the typo post.”
Typos bug me too. I hate it that my fingers always type “it’s” or “you’re” before my brain realizes I want to type “its” or “your.” My brain, being slower than my fingers usually kicks in shortly after I’ve hit the send button.
Typos aside what about this phrase that I recently encountered in a journal article by educators about YA literature:
“Since sixth grade she has dreamed of graduating high school with a respectable GPA so she can attend university . . . in spite of all the ‘haters’ who constantly try to bring her down.”
I know it was a long time ago, but I graduated FROM high school (I know my own set of typos might not indicate that I did, but I did). I imagine if I had the power to graduate high school, I could stuff it in a beaker and put little marks (graduations, geddit) on the side.
Love your blog!