I do a lot of reading. For one thing, I love to read. For another, I'm a college professor, and I assign speeches and papers...and I then I have to read them (which is often why I get to the end of a semester and ask myself, "What were you thinking when you assigned this?"). I'm also a professional and volunteer beta, so I read for a living.
Here are a few of my pet peeves and irritations in my various reading roles.
- As a reader. Typos. This is a published book, for heaven's sake. How many people have had their hands on these galleys? How do typos that are obvious to me get by that many professional book producers? There is at least one in the Twilight series, but I can't remember where it is right now.
- As a beta. Punctuation around quotations. Actually, there could be dozens of items on this list, but this is something I'll correct once, and if it's fanfic, I'll send it back after that. If it's original, I'll explain the rule and ask the author to fix all the errors. This is an extremely common error.
- As a teacher. Plagiarism. I failed 4 students for plagiarism this semester, even after I explained to them what it was, what would happen if I caught them, and how I always caught them. In addition to plagiarism, which I oppose on principle, I am offended by bad plagiarism. At least try, people! This semester, I had students copy first-person stories told by doctors...as though they were telling the story! And I had students copy from websites and include all the typos (not to mention all the erroneous information out there). Look, if you're going to cheat, at least do it well!
- Bonus...because I can't let it go unsaid. Using apostrophes for plurals. "There were two soda's in the fridge." That means, "There were two soda is in the fridge." Makes no sense.