Pub Rants

Ah, Typos

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STATUS: Another beautiful day in Denver. Makes me smile

What’s playing on the iPod right now? ANTICIPATION by Carly Simon

I’ve certainly had my share of electronic snafus lately but I had to chuckle when a person called today because his/her query wasn’t going through.

Sara, being the nice person that she is (sometimes too nice in my opinion) decided to try and help this person.

Basically we discovered that the writer was simply typing the word “query” incorrectly and consequently, the email didn’t go through. Hey, I can sympathize with the number of typos I make.

When dealing with computer issues, my first order of business is to always check all the cords to make sure the equipment is plugged in. Simple, basic, and you pretty much feel like a ninny at being frustrated if something is unplugged.

Still, it’s a good place to start and then go from there.

Same thing with query snafus. Maybe check the spelling first before making what can only be deemed a silly call when it’s just a typing error that’s the culprit.

Don’t worry. We didn’t ask the caller’s name. Anonymity is probably good in this case.

15 Responses

  1. Joelle said:

    For the last two years, every time I rebooted the modem I unplugged it from the wall and then unplugged the brown cord above it too. I was careful to plug in the brown cord first, wait two minutes, and then plug in the modem. So…I was cleaning the other day and when I moved everything I discovered the brown cord…yeah, an extension cord that had nothing plugged into it at the other end! Where I got that whole ritual is beyond me! I even had my husband doing it that way!

  2. simon said:

    i want to know what happened with the author who was choosing between you and eight other agents. are we going to get a follow-up to that?


  3. Anonymous said:

    How Ironic that this should come up today of all days. I wrote up my query letter and entered it in outlook. I was preparing myself for the day I would send it off, and I thought I stored it in ‘drafts’ when in reality I put it in ‘outbox’. Needless to say it went out as soon as I was finished working in outlook… oops.
    I only hope it was good enough 🙂

  4. Anonymous said:

    this reminds me of the time I called support to help me work on a machine in a hospital that kept blanking out as I was trying to examine a very ill patient. It turned out that each time I leaned over the patient I was pushing the bed against the plug and disconecting the machine.
    Take a deep breath and try again.
    I am glad you didn’t hold it against the writer. Kudos to you Sarah and Kristin!

  5. katiesandwich said:

    My husband travels around and fixes machines with his work. He was once called out of state to work on a machine only to discover that it wasn’t working because it was unplugged. That little mistake cost the company he traveled to quite a bit of money!

  6. Kiskadee said:

    The other day I was almost screaming because I couldn’t get an internet connection. I tried again and again, rebooting the PC, changing the cables around, everything. I tried calling my server but they were constantly busy. At the end of the day I found the cause: the plug into the telephone socket – hidden behind a piece of furniture n the hall – had been pulled out, probably while vacuuming.

  7. Patrick McNamara said:

    I’ve found I need to be patient with query letters. I’m so eager to get them out it’s easy to make mistakes. I’ve found by writing the letter first then cutting and pasting into the e-mail program helps. The only danger is that when moving it over to e-mail I have to be careful of formatting and other possible errors. I’ve also taken to cutting and pasting the adressee’s information as often as possible to avoid errors, which is particularly useful when doing a large number of queries at the same time.

    This mistake sounds like something a spell checker wouldn’t have caught since they tend to check the body of the work and not the header.

  8. Anonymous said:

    One thing I learned the hard way was that spell check won’t catch errors in words with all caps. Like titles of books. Sigh. That was embarrassing.

  9. Carla said:

    I wrote up my query letter and entered it in outlook. I was preparing myself for the day I would send it off, and I thought I stored it in ‘drafts’ when in reality I put it in ‘outbox’. Needless to say it went out as soon as I was finished working in outlook… oops.

    My fear of doing this led me to never, ever fill in the email address until I was actually ready to send.

  10. Sheila said:

    And always send it to yourself first! I check on my work eudora and my text-only personal email to see how it looks on both. Eudora sometimes cuts things off.

  11. Marion Gropen said:

    You might enjoy this story:

    I was working late, many years ago. The only other person in the office was our Sr VP of marketing. She had just changed offices, and couldn’t get her printer to print. Calls me in to help, since all accounting types are also the local tech support when it’s a small press, right?

    First question — are all the cables connected? She’s most offended — I must think she’s stupid, of course she plugged everything into the wall.

    Yup, you guessed it — the cable from the computer to the printer was NOT connected. I fixed this, and it worked.

    She yelled at me for a good 10 minutes, though, because there was no reason for that to be necessary. After all, if they’re both plugged into the wall that should be enough.

    I kid you not.

  12. farrout said:

    Gosh yes. Talk about “senior” moments. My first recollection of a life blupper is at the age of ten when i sat down on one of my mother’s prized, glass-topped end tables. Yes, you guessed it. My but* received a little damage that day, but not from the breaking glass. 🙂

  13. Lara said:

    Okay, that was funny and all, but SERIOUSLY…how can a WRITER misspell the word “Query?”

    That’s more scary than funny.

  14. Anonymous said:

    >> it’s rare that I read the entire 30 pages I request before making a determination
    You only accept email queries. Why request only 30 pages and not the whole thing (with hopes that you’ll want to finish)? Saving cyber trees?