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Downbelow Station (The Company Wars, #1)
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2013 Reads > DBS: Poor Editing and Its Impact on the Reader?

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message 1: by Cliff (last edited Mar 19, 2013 06:40PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cliff | 69 comments For the sake of reference, I've been reading the paperback first printing of this book.

The point of this thread is that I felt that I had come across a fairly high number of misspellings. And those often throw me off track for a moment while I mentally work out what the correct word should have been.

But having just hit Book 4 Chapter 6, I was FLOORED by an editing mistake that appears here. I have reread these pages at least 4 times already, just to be sure that I didn't miss something. But this chapter begins with Emilio on Downbelow, who is suddenly marching with the hisa Bluetooth(?!). Yet Bluetooth is the hisa on the station who was just sent to watch over Damon at the end of the last chapter. So, I find myself scrambling to decide if maybe there was a massive time shift and we're to assume events have occurred in between OR if there was an editing error and they printed the wrong name TWICE. So, after reading back and forth, I decided that they meant to write Bounder's name, not Bluetooth's.

So, am I the only one who finds such GLARING errors to be borderline unforgivable, particularly in a novel like this one where we are juggling some 12-15 character viewpoints? Or do most people just skim over it and take these errors in stride without even noticing them?

I will also comment that the vast number of typographic errors in the eBooks that I have read is one of the things that keeps me sticking to dead-tree editions.


Firstname Lastname | 488 comments Cliff wrote: "For the sake of reference, I've been reading the paperback first printing of this book.

The point of this thread is that I felt that I had come across a fairly high number of misspellings. And th..."


I have a hard time with audio books because of malpronunciations, as well. Editing mistakes usually stick right out at me. The version I have must be a good one.


James Witherspoon | 14 comments Yeah I noticed that same error and went through the exact same reactions. There's been a few other more forgivable word replacement errors.

I try not to let it bother me because I understand it happens, but that one error was really bad.


message 4: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 846 comments Just checked my book club edition, and it has Bluetooth as well.

(Have only just started reading - other books were ahead of this one for various reasons. So I didn't run smack into this yet.)


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2501 comments I am reading the 20th Anniversary edition and noticed the same error. By that point I was past caring.

This book is so bad that I can't imagine what other garbage must have been in the running for the Hugo award that year.


Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments I listened to the audio and didn't notice the error. I did zone out a few (many) times though and it was really difficult keeping track of the characters and story lines. If there were any spelling or punctuation errors, I wouldn't have noticed. The narrator pronounced everything perfectly.


Angela (kikuesan) | 21 comments I noticed the error, too, and was at first bothered, especially since Bluetooth is discussed as being on Pell Station right before this chapter starts.

I substituted Bounder's name because Bounder was the only hisa I knew that would make sense on Downbelow.

These kinds of errors tend not to bother me too much, because I know how tiresome reading the same text over and over can be. However, if this were to happen a LOT in one book, I might get sidetracked from the story. That didn't happen for me with this book. (Perhaps I am too forgiving in my reading...)

I once borrowed a book from the library in which someone else actually edited the text in places. Now THAT distracted me from the story every time I encountered a correction.


Gareth (coilgreen) | 4 comments That error really threw me, stopped me reading for a good five minutes while I flipped back through the book to make sure I hadn't missed a big jump in time (I was assuming that it wasn't an error, but the result of the passage of a few months of time).

Its strange that it seems to have propagated through out all the various editions we are reading.

The word replacements were also a bit disturbing because I would initially chalk them up to how strange I found some of Cherryh's sentence structure. But much more forgivable and easily ignored.


W.R. Edmunds (wredmunds) | 28 comments While the 'Bluetooth' error didn't throw me (I instantly knew it meant Bounder and was an editing error) the general amount of editing errors were certainly a disappointment for me. Some of that is my own personal taste as a writer ("had had"? That's a paddlin') but there were many instances I had to go back a couple pages and re-read sections just to ensure I had taken the correct meaning, due to some confusing tenses or semantics.

However I also found this book generally not up to what I have come to expect from Cherryh, even in material from the same era of her writing.


message 10: by W.R. (new) - rated it 2 stars

W.R. Edmunds (wredmunds) | 28 comments Angela wrote: "I once borrowed a book from the library in which someone else actually edited the text in places. Now THAT distracted me from the story every time I encountered a correction. "

Yeah, I had that in the Assassin's Apprentice when we were reading through that. Annoying as heck!


Firstname Lastname | 488 comments Anyone else find it odd that between the initial publication of the book and today, 'bluetooth' has gone from a made-up name to a common product?


message 12: by Serendi (last edited Mar 30, 2013 07:48PM) (new)

Serendi | 846 comments No, I just figured the product was named by a Cherryh fan.

ETA: Looked under Bluetooth in Wikipedia, and it's not; it's named after the Anglicization of the name of a 10th century Scandinavian king who united dissonant Danish tribes into a single kingdom. The Bluetooth protocol does that for computer communication.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1889 comments Wesley wrote: "("had had"? That's a paddlin')"

I have no idea whatsoever what "that's a paddlin'" might mean. What on earth is wrong with 'had had'? It's perfectly correct grammatically and conveys the meaning well enough.

Serendi, I had just assumed that Bluetooth was around longer than I had realised, and that Cherryh had been aware of it. Reading wiki, it seems that is also not the case. How odd then!


message 14: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul (latepaul) I agree about "had had" Ruth, but I know some people find it clumsy. Mind you,
it could be worse ;)


message 15: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Stirling | 80 comments I find 'had had' and 'that that' both make my brain stumble, and while they are grammatically acceptable a little change in sentence structure could remove them and make for easier reading. They are definitely pet peeves for me.


message 16: by Doug (new)

Doug Hoffman (dshoffman) | 62 comments Ariel wrote: "I find 'had had' and 'that that' both make my brain stumble, and while they are grammatically acceptable a little change in sentence structure could remove them and make for easier reading. They a..." Agree -- it doesn't take much effort to dump 'that that' (in fact, I try to dump even a single 'that' whenever possible). 'Had had' can be a bit more of a challenge, but I can usually worm my way out of it. While grammatically correct, it's an annoyance for some readers. Unintentional internal rhymes are a bother, too.


Firstname Lastname | 488 comments Serendi wrote: "No, I just figured the product was named by a Cherryh fan.

ETA: Looked under Bluetooth in Wikipedia, and it's not; it's named after the Anglicization of the name of a 10th century Scandinavian kin..."


Doesn't that make more and better sense, while teaching you something about history?

Not to denigrate the people who named the Sonic HedgeHog gene or anything...


Firstname Lastname | 488 comments Ruth wrote: "Wesley wrote: "("had had"? That's a paddlin')"

I have no idea whatsoever what "that's a paddlin'" might mean. What on earth is wrong with 'had had'? It's perfectly correct grammatically and convey..."


It's a Simpson's reference.


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