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My Life in Error A copy editor recounts his obsession with perfection.

The New York Times, Benjamin Dreyer: “…Perfection, I’ve found, is an often elusive but not unattainable goal, and any number of the books I’ve worked on over the past three decades have made it to print without a single discernible error. And yet. In my early days, I would sulk in my office with the door closed if I found out that one of my books included a typo. A sentence referring to “geneology” once sent me into a blue funk for hours. As time passed I took these errata slightly less personally, but the sting lingered, if not for so long as it had at the start. For me, there is a real thrill in the great scavenger hunt of rooting out errors, whether it’s a simple “lead” where “led” is meant (that messed-up verb is, I’d say, the commonest typo to get into print) or something grander…”

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