Dear Aunty Bibs,
Something has been bugging me and I want to ask you for your take on it.
I purchased a book written by a Malaysian. She is actually someone I've met and like, and want to support, and I had the author sign it at a recent launch.
I took it home and as I began to read it I noticed grammatical errors. The subject matter is interesting, but as I continue to read it I find it difficult to ignore all the errors.
I don't understand why it was published in that condition.
I posted it on my blog before I actually started reading it, to support her, but...
I feel kind of embarrassed to share it with anyone now because of this problem.
Why would it have been published in that state?...
I am to embarrassed to say anything to her about it. Does that make me a bad friend?...
The Hovering Red Pen
Dear Hovering Red Pen,
I am totally with you on this. It's almost a given that when you pick up a book self-published by a local author, or even one which is published by one of the larger local publishing houses, there will be extremely annoying errors, particularly with tense and subject agreement. (In one instance even the title of a book was grammatically incorrect!)
Some local books have glaring errors on almost every page and it makes me feel quite ill and lose respect for the author. (I scribble corrections always.)
I get very upset by sloppy English when it can be fixed by hiring a proficient proofreader. (And where these don't exist locally, they can be hired from abroad via the internet.)
Perhaps you can tactfully ask your friend if you can proofread the second-edition and maybe she will get the hint that she has the equivalent of literary halitosis?