Question for the Author

What’s the funniest typo you’ve ever written?

My wife proofreads all my writing prior to it being sent to a publisher. Waiting for her feedback is always a tense time because she’s a tough critic and doesn’t pull punches. On this particular occasion she was proofreading an erotic fantasy/romance I’d written. And it’s because the genre was erotic fantasy/romance, I was surprised to hear her laughing.

No. I’m understating it. She wasn’t laughing. She was in hysterical giggles with tears pouring from her eyes and her cheeks turning red from an abundance of mirth.

I have to admit, this was bad. There are some reactions you expect from readers as they go through an erotic fantasy/romance. The erotic parts are expected to make the reader feel excited. The fantasy aspects are supposed to make the reader feel thrilled. And the romance is meant to make the reader feel emotionally satisfied. None of these reactions involve laughing so hard that you sound like a drain being unblocked.

“Is there an amusing part?” I asked drily.

She paused for a moment, stared at me in silence, and then burst into laughter again.

I wrestled the manuscript pages from her hands and, because she was beyond using words at that moment, she simply pointed to the mistake that had filled her with so much satisfying mirth.

I read the line slowly.

It was meant to say: At the front of the hall, she saw a figure jump onto the banquet table.

This was early on in the story and this was heroine’s first encounter with a character who would go on to become her romantic interest. I figured, having him jump onto a banquet table would show him as being sufficiently confident and commanding to make appropriate impact.  

Except, that wasn’t what was written on the page. Some discrepancy had occurred between what I wanted to say and what I’d written. I’m not sure if my own stupidity was at fault, or if I could blame my PC’s autocorrect feature.

The sentence now read: At the front of the hall, she saw a finger jump onto the banquet table.

Half an hour later, and settled by a cup of tea, she was back in control of her faculties. But still, whenever I mention that title, she makes gestures as though a finger is jumping onto a banquet table, and starts laughing to herself again.

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