Sunday, April 18, 2010

Big Oops, there

Family is staying the weekend and last night, we sat down to watch Julie & Julia. All I knew about Julia Childs was that she cooked with an awful lot of butter and yet lived into her nineties - not a bad innings.

The movie was great, without Norah Ephron's usual saccharine sweetness. Meryl Streep is a marvel at characterisation and expressed Julia's exuberance for life and French cuisine wonderfully. Amy Adams, too, was excellent as the woman who decides to complete all of the recipes in Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year and blog about her efforts. Not the kind of thing I'd do given the amount of butter used in the recipes.

So it was with interest that I read the headline Cook-book misprint costs Australian publishers dear. Unwilling to take the BBC's word for it (I'm such a charlatan), I headed to the Sydney Morning Herald site where the news item came from. Sure enough, Penguin reprints book, peppered with an error, wants it taken with grain of salt. (Terrible heading I think.)

Head of publishing, Mr Bob Sessions, said: "In one particular recipe [a] misprint occurs which obviously came from a spell checker. When it comes to the proofreader, of course they should have picked it up, but proofreading a cookbook is an extremely difficult task. I find that quite forgivable [sic]."

Um... no, not forgiveable. Laughable, absolutely, forgiveable, not on your life. The problem? A line in a tagliatelle recipe that called for salt and freshly ground black people - instead of 'pepper'. I don't know about you, but I think there are two letters wrong here, not something a spellchecker or proofreader would miss unless they were lazy. And the excuse that the correct line is in many recipes and that cook-books are hard to check, is no excuse at all.

I doubt Penguin will be so sanguine in the future, since it cost them $20,000.

The lesson today is to really check your work lest some unfortunate words cause dismay, or finanicial loss.

Oh, and Bon Appetit!

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