Friday, July 10, 2015

An amusing thing that OCR wanted to do to the Liavek ebook

I'm proof-reading Liavek stories in order to start releasing ebooks in the next week or two. Because the anthologies came out in the '80s, before publishers believed personal computers were here to stay, we don't have electronic files of the edited stories. So we sent paperbacks off to a cheap OCR service. The scans are pretty good, but things sneak by. Catching the typo I'm about to share means I'm not a completely inept proofreader, because my word processor's spell-checker merely said, yep, that's a word, and didn't flag it with squiggly lines.

The OCR has trouble with "rm" and "rn—it often interprets "burn" as "bum" and "turn" as "tum". But I could never have guessed what it would do to this sentence:
Birth magic tingled along her arms...
The OCR's version:
Birth magic tingled along her anus...
For a moment, I was tempted not to change it. It's not as impressive as the Wicked Bible's "Thou shalt commit adultery," but as typos go, it's decent—at least, if your sense of humor is as juvenile as mine. But while they say all publicity is good publicity, the story and its author deserve better, so I fixed it.