Andy Rooney Finds Mistakes!

Rooney On The Satisfaction of Finding Grammatical or Factual Errors

I think it makes everyone feel superior to find a mistake in anything we read. I always like to find a grammatical or factual error in a book or in a newspaper article.

The other day I read a story about five historians in Virginia who said they found 140 mistakes in one fourth grade history textbook that was used in the public schools there. A lot of words were misspelled — words like "developement", "ammendement", "neccessary" and "seperate." There were a lot of factual errors, too. For example the author said that significant numbers of African Americans fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Which isn't true.

Imagine having to recall those textbooks from all the schools in Virginia, though. Maybe they should let the students use the books the way they are and the kids who found the most mistakes would get the highest marks.

Writing a book is hard. The money is only fair and the work is really tough. I've written a lot of books.

When an editor complains about something I tell the editor that I'm the one who had to fill up those blank pages with all the words. All he had to do was correct my mistakes. We all like to catch someone else's mistake and editors have all the fun because that's what they do for a living.

Think about how good those historians felt when they found 140 mistakes that the publisher missed.

The author of the textbook tried to defend herself by saying that she found a lot of her information for the book with the help of the Internet. Well, that's not a good excuse, miss — or is it madam?
Written by Andy Rooney


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