Typo Errors in Textbooks - Getting Worse

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by I Smell Smoke, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. I Smell Smoke

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Now, karma will see that I make several spelling and grammatical errors of my own in this post but anyway...

    Do you find that there are too many expensive textbooks from well known publishing houses that are choc full of typos? You might pay around $100 for a 'good' book on op-amps that comes with high recommendations only to find that there are many errors that see you wasting time trying to comprehend a circuit that just doesn't add up. At first you think it must be correct, and that you simply don't understand the new concepts being explained. But after checking with colleagues or other similar books (or here!) you realize the book is wrong.

    OK, so a typo or two in a book of 1000 pages is nothing bad but in recent years I'm starting to find that some books remind me of those old 'What's Wrong With This Picture?' cartoons where mistakes were deliberately drawn in and you had to count as many as you could find. Many of these books appear to be part of the curriculum taught at universities. So I wonder if they are written specifically to just cover the syllabus and secure sales based on their chapter headings. Perhaps it's just too expensive these days to have a proof reader with technical knowledge on the subject to read through it.
     
  2. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    :D Not trying to be funny... I worked for 25+ yrs. repairing 35mm and larger format film cameras, primarily high-end SLR's. Primarily Japanese...
    Trying to deal with a technical manual , first translation from the original Japanese, was a real <snip>
     
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  3. I Smell Smoke

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 3, 2013
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    "Trying to deal with a technical manual , first translation from the original Japanese, was a real <snip>"

    PackratKing - Yes, there are some terrible user and repair manuals supplied with remarkably expensive equipment. It makes you wonder why they don't just hire some broke english speaking student over there on an exchange program and get them to translate it into something logical.
     
  4. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
    2,576
    231
    It's dealing with the economy by deleting jobs...like unnecessary copy editors..."we have computer spell checkers don't we?"
    The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has become a comic strip in itself. Wrong words, mis-sellings, nearly blank lines instead of hyphenations. I'll have to check out the St Paul Pioneer Press, to see if it's any better.

    Ken
     
  5. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    From I Smell Smoke :
    It makes you wonder why they don't just hire some broke english speaking student over there on an exchange program and get them to translate it into something logical...

    Where do I sign up ??? :D
     
  6. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I think it is definitely getting worse and I think that a large part of it is the notion that we have automated tools to do our thinking for us. One of the areas that has really been impacted is the quality and utility of the index. Historically the author (or some other human) had to decide which terms would appear in the index. Then the author could put a tag in the source file for words that should be put in the index and this worked great because a human made the decision but a computer did the grunt work. The someone decided that they could write a program that could analyze the text and decide which other terms should be in the index in addition to the tagged terms. Then authors concluded that they didn't have to tag entries because the indexing tool could do it all. So now most textbooks have an index that is pretty much worthless. Major concepts aren't included at all or, if they are, often the page given is a page where the term appears a few times but not the page where the concept is actually introduced or defined.
     
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  7. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Indexes have suffered the most in the "technical revolution" of publishing. They are now frequently beyond useless. :(
     
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