Friday, January 7, 2011

the importance of proofreading

having a little look-see through the DK Children's Illustrated Encyclopedia while at work today.

internet linked!
king tut!
a space-y satellite fiendish thingy!
a giant eye!

wowsers. there must be lots to learn about in this book.
things like this:

what the fuck?

but...surely not...

but oh yes. read it again, people:

this is an appalling and offensive mistake.

the book is an encylopedia. a-z. starting with aboriginal australians and ending with zoos. wikipedia says that "from aboriginal australians to zoos" is this blue peter prize-winning book's motto.

i think even with the "from" it's still a bit iffy.

searching for this book on the penguin/DK site leads us here, to a message that says this page cannot be found. the book is out of stock on title page (big internetty book searchy thing we use at work), leading me to believe that perhaps someone has already noticed this mistake. but how about recalling the book?


  1. Cultural insensitivity rather than strict proof-reading problem maybe. What a clanger!
    I heard on the ABC news last week that 'the driver of the truck (that rolled in northern NSW) was thrown from the cabin and leaked fuel all night long.' That's talented.
    Who wrote the news piece? Why didn't the news reader spot how ridiculous it sounded? Why don't people in the media (including publishing) have a better general education to spot these problems?
    Rant over. I'll go back to reading now...

  2. do you remember when penguin - i think it was penguin - recalled a cookbook because it said something along the lines of 'add salt and a black person' instead of pepper?

    sometimes, you've gotta laugh...(and then ship back the book where it came from!)

  3. tassied - i want to believe they meant to include the "from" because it's even worse if they just didn't get how this heading could be misconstrued!

    and i absolutely LOVE sentences like the one about the fuel-leaking truckie (i hope he was ok). great for a giggle.

    megan - ah yes, that pasta recipe which called for "salt and freshly ground black people"...FRACK!

  4. I'm speechless. How on earth did that get signed off?? I have a 1930s grammar book that is so casually racist one thinks it can't possibly be real. But no, its the intro by the Minister for the Australian Education Dept (or some such chap) who is the worst offender. :(

  5. Poor choice of title any way you look at it. Hope they come up with a better one.

  6. Thanks for sharing this post and the importance of proofreading.


  7. Just came across this, awful! Definitely in need of proofreading!

    Tracey (fellow booklover)


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