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I don't want to defend publishers whole-heartedly, and I have certainly been offended by my share of errors in published works, but I have to say from experience that producing error-free works is not as easy as it sounds. I am a publisher at a puzzle-magazine company, and we have a rigorous solving and proofing process. Even with all the checks and balances, we do occasionally produce a puzzle with an error in it. Our solvers, as is their right, are not shy about letting us know it! With that experience, I do try to cut other publishers a bit of slack.
Admittedly pulishers are being squeezed by the distributors, the printers, the investors, etc. However published works that read as though there was no editing at all really should not see the light of day. A couple of typos or a minor inconsistency doesn't bother me much but something wrong on nearly every page does!
I absolutely agree. As I said, it bothers the heck out of me, too. I just wanted to say that, in my experience, it's too much to expect not to find any errors in a book.
Please note that this group in concerned about terrible editing, not about finding "any errors" in a book.
I understand all of the problems surrounding today's hard copy (as opposed to Internet) publishing, and I try not to be too perfectionistic about it. However, the problem arises when the errors are so egregious that they stop me in my tracks and sometimes even affect the meaning. An example: several years ago I was teaching a college level introductory management class, using a very expensive textbook (is expensive textbook redundant?). I stopped counting after reaching 100 for the number of times that "manager" was spelled "manger" in the text. Now I fully understand the error, having keyed it that way myself too many times, but everytime I read a sentence about "the manger must be sure to communicate clearly..." I wanted to say, and so should the author and editors.
There is a difference, too, between 'occasional mistake in a magazine (or newspaper)', versus 'multiple bad mistakes in a one-off book published by an international multibillion dollar conglomerate', to me, anyway.
hsl2000: Poorly edited textbooks really are a nuissance, and a common one at that. I took a logic course using Just Problems by E.R. Klein and I believe it wins the award for "worst textbook editing." Not only are there spelling and grammatical errors, but errors in the symbolic logic that is the very substance of the text.